PROMPT: What has to happen for your favorite meal to reach you.  I have too many favorite meals and my husband makes them all.

  1. Pasta with shrimp (super easy).
  2. Carne Asada with pico de gait.
  3. Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
  4. Smoked brisket/tri-tip.
  5. Shrimp burritos with red bell pepper sauce.
  6. Recreated pasta sauce with chicken, italian sausage and shrimp.

I follow a woman on You Tube whose husband farms cranberries.  It’s very interesting and they have 7 kids, but two have left home.  Watching her vlog has certainly opened my eyes up to small farms.

We have a garden each year now that our kids are grown and gone  We have tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, carrots and corn.  We also have strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  I do appreciate the American Farmer.  It’s a touch job. I am very grateful that my husband enjoys cooking!

Day 18 is complicated.  This is about who have you met at your job who influenced your life. My last job, I had two bosses and the male boss encouraged me to be my best sef.  It was a pleasure to work for him.

Day 16 of The Contentment Journal, June 17, 2019

Today’s prompt was one of my favorite topics: My daughters.  What are two characteristics in each of your children that make you smile.

#1: All 3 of my daughters are independent.  Even my youngest who married at age 18.  The baby flew back to North Carolina alone to visit her boyfriend at age 18.  She also has overcome social anxiety, is a great mom and a good wife to her disabled husband.  Her strength is amazing since she was pretty much coddled by the entire family!  Her husband was diagnosed with a rare eye disease, Stargardt’s just 9 months after she was married.  Her ability to maintain her relationship and mother her oldest daughter when her husband was deployed was a great example for other military wives.  Her strength in performing as the official photographer at several military funerals amazed the whole family.

My middle daughter….omgoodness. Along with her independence, she never met a stranger.  She would decide to move across the country to be near her sister, and changed her career from medical transcriptionist to 911 dispatcher.  She came back West and moved to where her older sister lives.  She has a very stressful job and she is great at it.  She married at age 37, and I am so proud that she waited for The One! She now has a double job of dispatcher and wife of a police officer along with being a stepmom that any child would love.  She is a girly girl who cares so much for her stepdaughter.

The oldest…also extremely independent.  She would decide to do something and do it.  She made the decision to change her career at age 25, after getting her first degree in criminal justice, working for 3 years and realizing this was not for her.  She explored her options and decided to go back for a 4 year degree in Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound.  She finished at age 29 and really likes her job.  It makes for some hilarious stories too!  She decided to get in shape and ended up competing in body building. She married at just before her 35th birthday and also waited for The One!  She throws a great party and is a good friend.  She loves her rescue pups and volunteers her time.

I know I’m leaving something out about each of them.  They are all so different, but in many ways are the same.  My biggest goal in life was to have daughters who were close and I think I accomplished that.

My commitments to myself are going well.  In fact very well! I have missed a few days of one thing or another, but overall it’s kind of amazing!

Day 14 and 15 of The Contentment Journal, June 16, 2019

I left my Mac Book at my daughter’s house on Friday so again I missed a day! But I’m not that mad at myself.  It is inevitable I am going to do things like that.  I was watching my granddaughters so my daughter could take her husband to the doctor (legally blind medically retired Marine).  I did laundry and the girls played together.  I have very sweet granddaughters.

So Day 14 Prompt is about time, What or Who makes free time a possibility for you?  That’s easy my husband makes it a reality.  He agreed that I could quit my job at 58 instead of continuing in my very stressful job, since my body was just done (fibromyalgia). I was diagnosed in 2010 after I finally stopped working and I was off work for 2 years, trying to deal with the fibro. It was really difficult until I saw a rheumatologist in my medical group who put me on Gabapentin and amitriptyline for sleep and to help any nerve pain. It helped tremendously and I went to work in an assisted living facility that I thought was going to be part-time.  It turned into full time and then turned again.  I went from assistant to the Executive Director to Executive Director myself.  Very stressful, rewarding job.  I did it for almost 4 years.

Okay back to day 15: This is the day for reflection on the past week.  What have you learned, and what practices can you take into the next week.  So much…..Be nicer to my husband.  Thank him more often.  Be careful with our money. Take better care of our home. Use my time wisely! Be grateful!

With that in mind I’ve just put this in the refrigerator for dessert along with a Father’s Day Dinner of smoked brisket, our version of Cowboy Caviar, baked beans and a green salad!

Happy Father’s Day to our wonderful fathers!

Day 12 The Contentment Journal, June 13, 2019

Today’s prompt: What are 3 things you are thankful for relating to your health? Eeeek!  Okay I came up with 3:

  1.  I am grateful my pain is controlled with rest, heating pad and pain medication.
  2.  I am grateful my asthma is well controlled with medication (inhalers).
  3.  I am grateful I can walk around a 2 block radius each day with my rescue chihuahua.

I really am grateful as I know there are people who are much worse off than I am so I try to keep that in mind.  Actually I have a very close person, my sister.  She is having a horrible time controlling her pain without knowing what her true diagnosis is.  She hopes to find out when she visits John Hopkins in October.  We talk on the phone a lot, supporting each other.  She lives 2 states away from me.

I’d better get a few things done while I feel good.  Our record breaking hot weather is over and it is cooler today, though I still need to water our flowers and shrubs. I need to refill the chicken’s food and I need to feed my dog and hopefully walk her, but first I am going down to have breakfast with my mom (almost 90) at her assisted living facility that is just over a mile away!

Day 11 The Contentment Journal, June 12, 2019

Prompt: How is your work different than when you first started? What changes and growth are you thankful for in your role.

I could go on and on about this. I will try to be less wordy than my usual. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, mother in law and daughter.  I am also a sister and friend. I am not employed, unless you count the very light bookkeeping I do for our business.

I have been striving to have a clean and organized home for over 40 years. I have been retired for almost 3 years.  I love investing my time and energy into my home and my family.  I am available to help out whoever needs help.  I am more available to my elderly mother as her dementia worsens.  Any stress is self-imposed.

With my fibromyalgia I cannot always do it all or I need breaks, quite a few breaks. It has been a huge change to go from working woman with family to a homemaker.  It would make sense I would be content since my first choice in a career was a home economics teacher.  I loved sewing soooo much I wanted to teach others.

My husband did all the grocery shopping and cooking when we were raising children.  Now I am trying to do 99% of the grocery shopping and about 75% of the cooking.  My husband and I trade the cooking chores, especially on the weekend.   Depending on my pain levels I try to do prep work in the morning and if I don’t feel up to cooking at 4:30 in the afternoon, I leave it for DH and he never complains.

I had journaled my thoughts for Day 11 before I showered today.  So I meditated on the prompts and my thoughts.  Just as I stepped out of the shower, I heard this from Deuteronomy 14, towards the end of the chapter talking about giving: And God will bless you in all your work.

I felt this was meant for me, meditating on my “job” and that God will bless me.  Amen.

Day 9 and 10 of The Contentment Journal, June 11, 2019

My computer needed to be charged last night, like it was completely dead, had just enough power to tell me it needed to be charged.  I don’t think that has ever happened! Luckily I did write my thoughts for day 9&10.

Day 9 Prompt: What are 3 things you are grateful for about your spouse or special person-Actually I just talked about him and how being together for so long (since 7th grade) it’s pretty easy to take each other for granted.  But 3 things:

  1. He is a total partner. He doesn’t care about “roles” in a marriage.
  2. He did 99% of the grocery shopping and cooking while raising our children.
  3. He works really hard so that I can be at home now that I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis.
  4. He NEVER complains if the house is a mess.
  5. He will do almost anything for our girls.

Examples: One year our oldest daughter was home from college for Christmas. She was going to school in Klamath Falls, Oregon. We live on the coast of California.  We checked the weather and of course a big snow was going to fall in the Siskiyou Mountains!  She started home and after about an hour we found her backpack with her school books she forgot in her hurry to get on the road and to try to get in front of the coming storm.  She had a little Honda Civic that is not exactly a good car to drive in the snow.

We called her and she said she would stop and wait for us to bring it to her.  My husband said “No, keep driving I will bring it to you”.  So he got in his car and drove the 4+ hours to her home. He handed over the backpack, got in the car and turned around and came home. She had made it home just before it started to snow.

2nd example: Our youngest daughter is married to a Marine.  She got married about 7 weeks before her 19th birthday.  She is the baby of the family.  At one deployment (I can’t remember which, may the first when she had been married for about 11 days), the last leg of her flight home, from San Francisco to Humboldt, (from North Carolina) she got bumped.  It was 11:30 and she could not get the last flight to home.  She called home so upset, crying.   My husband told her to go to the USO and he would come and get her (even though it’s a 5 hour (at least) drive from Humboldt to SFO.  He got up from bed, got dressed and drove during the middle of the night to San Francisco.  He got there about 4:30 a.m. and picked our daughter up, took her to breakfast and then drove back to the airport and put her on the flight home, driving back himself.  She later told us that knowing her dad was coming made all the different. Also thank God for the USO!

Our middle daughter, he drove our older Camry from Humboldt to Charleston to give her the car after her 10+ year old Honda Accord finally died (with well over 300,000 miles on it). He was followed and pulled over in Arkansas on some made up transgression.  He was actually profiled because the car had my disabled plates on it and heck we are from Humboldt.  After DH got out of the car to go to the trunk and show him the insurance cards, after much questioning as to where was he going, why, why isn’t your wife with you, etc etc, the state trooper asked if he had a 215 card (medical marijuana).  Um NO! Ha Ha great story.  He tells it better.

So yes I can think of lots of things I appreciate about my husband.

Day 10: What are 5 needs in your life that you get met every day-

  1. Shelter-I love my home. We raised our daughters in this home (older girls were 6&8 and I was about to birth #3 when we moved in). It is just the right size for us.  The lot is the right size to enjoy without being overwhelming.  We have room for a garden and chickens and our front lawn is big and we have lovely landscaping that beautifies it, well I think it does!
  2. Food-We have plenty of good food pretty much at all times in our home.  We have strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in our garden and we have an expansive pantry and freezers with plenty to eat.  We did not have enough food while growing up until it was just my two older siblings and I.  I think this may be partly why we have so much!
  3. Clothing-I have plenty of comfortable clothes to wear and a washer and dryer to clean them.
  4. Creative/helping-I have a wonderful creative outlet in the form of my sewing room and my extensive fabric stash. I have plenty of lovely fabrics and the notions and tools to make wonderful gifts for people (just finished two 49er aprons for a friend for Father’s Day). I have a nice sewing machine, a very nice Serger and the Accuquilt Go that saves my shoulder when cutting out quilts. I bond with my granddaughters (Ally is making her first full sized quilt at age 10!). In fact Ally named my sewing room The Fun Girl’s Club Room when she was quite young! I also have the garden which is, in some ways, a creative outlet with the flowers.  I love to make quilts for kids! So many quilts I have made over the years, a few for friends of friends whom I have never met.   I also have the tools and have rediscovered embroidery.  I have some nice yarn and a large collection of knitting and crochet needles.  I can create to my heart’s content.  I enjoy making fairy gardens with the girls and have a nice selection of items to make them. In fact we spent Sunday with the girls and that’s exactly what we did! Then after dinner’s fairy garden making, Ally started sewing on her quilt!

Love/companionship-Well I have a good husband and we enjoy watching the same TV shows, well most of the time. When sports are on, I go to my sewing room with his blessing.  I have a nice group of ladies I sew with twice a month, I have my daughters , and I have a couple of women friends who I could call on if I needed help.  I have Lila, my rescue chihuahua who wants to go everywhere with me and can tell when I am getting ready to leave and goes to the front door and will literally spin in circles she gets so excited!

I kind of forget how much fun it can be to make things for other! The quilt on the left I made for my two granddaughters in 2017. I have enough fabric from the two kits I purchased from Fat Quarter Shop to make at least one more!  The aprons were gifts for twin 3 year olds, who belong to a close friend of my middle daughter.  I helped with them for about 6 months after they were born.  They turned out so cute!

So yes, I live with chronic pain every day, but I have a lot that I am so grateful for. If it’s a really bad day I mostly sit around, but I am grateful also for my doctor who prescribes the medications that help me to enjoy my life! So grateful for Cynthia Rubio, MD, my retired rheumatologist, who got me started on those meds and am so grateful my internist continues to prescribe them.

My husband understands or anyway does not complain about when I can’t do anything.  He just pitches in and does what needs to be done. I am Grateful!

Day 8 of The Contentment Journal, June 9, 2019

Today’s prompt: What have you learned and what practices could you take into the next week?

I have learned I can keep a 7 day commitment to myself and live intentionally.  I hate that word sometimes, it is overused.  I guess I would call it to live with my blinders off and making choices instead of just plowing through the next thing in front of me.  Instead I want to look at what I am doing and choose what I am going to do.  Live with choosing the next right thing that I need to do.

I have learned that I can eat a cookie and still lose weight.  I learned that if I blow it, I can just start right back and don’t look at it as a complete failure and I can’t do this (whatever “this” is).

I can water-pic my teeth every night, even when I just want to go to bed, and wash my face with application of serums.

I can clean up the kitchen instead of leaving it even if I am tired.  It only takes about 5 minutes.

I can thread my Babylock serger and use it! (that was a biggie)

For the next week I am going to continue to keep the commitments to myself and add another one: I am going to do every single item on my Ultimate Home Checklist along with keeping my commitments to myself.

In looking at the coming week, I have sewing group on Wednesdays and afterwards, fish dinner at the Elk’s Club where my husband will be doing orientation.  Yes we are officially old! My husband is joining the Elk’s Club.

It would be really easy to just sit home in front of the TV every night, but I know that is not good for us.  I really think I would enjoy going camping to the campsites that the Elks have around the country.  I like doing things for other people (remember I’m an obliger). My husband is a great cook and he can use his skills for good (fundraisers, etc).

I have the aprons to finish, I am learning to stop waiting until the last minute.  In fact when I finish these, I am going to start on my granddaughters aprons for their birthdays.  All three granddaughters (10, 5, 4) all have summer birthdays.  I am doing a No Spend 2019 to save the money for Disneyland at Christmas.  My husband and I will be paying for the VRBO. Here is a picture from our last trip to Disneyland in September 2016. I’m with my two older daughters and my two granddaughters.

Disneyland 2016

Okay here I go, starting the second week of The Contentment Journal.