Day 6 of The Contentment Journal, June 7, 2019

Prompt: What is the one thing you are doing with your money that you are grateful for? Helping my family.  My three grown daughters and their families.  From making freezer meals to running grandchildren around to just driving over to stay while they recover from surgery to donating to a fundraiser, either items or money.  I do not begrudge one penny to my family.

Again my commitments to myself were followed EXCEPT I did not get my bible reading in for some reason.  Oh I know, my routine was messed up.  I normally listen while I do my morning kitchen cleanup, but somehow I didn’t do it.  I can’t remember what I did, but today I will play 2 days worth of One Year Bible Reading with my You Version app.

I have not read the entire bible since I was a teen! How awful is that? So I decided this was the year!

I woke up this morning with a bad headache, which goes along with overdoing last weekend and recovering all week!  I still am not back to my normal chronic pain baseline.  In fact it is 9:30 and I am still in a darkened bedroom, sitting up writing this, but I’m sure the light from my computer is not helping!

Day 5 of The Contentment Journal, June 6, 2019

What would devastate you if taken away is Day 5’s prompt.  Well that’s easy! My family, any one of all the members of my family, many of my extended family, like my sister that I depend on so much for unconditional support.

I think it easy to begin to take one’s spouse for granted when you have been together as long as my husband and I have been.  I am working hard to be a good wife to him.  That is a part of these 90 days to be the best wife/mother/grandmother/daughter/sister/friend that I can be.

I have a hard time managing my home when I have other demands on my time.  I am slowly learning to STOP that thing I am hyper focused on and make dinner.  I intentionally did that yesterday at 4:05 after spending about an hour sitting up my Babylock Evolution Serger.  I don’t use it as much as I should.  I would like to intentionally get better at using it.  I have patterns for clothes for my granddaughters I would like to make.  I am in the middle of making aprons for a friend for Father’s Day.  Aprons are super easy and I was happy to do it when asked.

I again kept the commitments to myself yesterday.  I am feeling good about today.  I have financial duties to do and then some cleaning and finally into the sewing room I will go!  It’s a gray day and I am hoping the sun comes out.

My body is feeling better this morning than yesterday so I am going to continue to let my body recover from too much yard work too many days in a row!

Day 4 of Contentment, June 5, 2019

Aaaahhh another easy one! The Prompt:  What do you appreciate most about your work?    After working mostly full time from the age of 18-58 with two years off 2010-2012 when first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I retired on 7/8/16.  I love being home. I love everything about it.

Yesterday was the perfect day to think about this prompt.  I started out at a medical exam, then came home to cook for my granddaughter’s theatre group fundraiser.  I made two lasagnas, then a chocolate bundt cake, then a batch of brownies.  I made the lasagnas in the new (to me anyway) rectangular Crockpots.  I borrowed my daughter’s and along with mine was able to take both to the facility where the fundraiser was held, plug them in and they stayed hot until needed.  I had about an hour to wash dishes and clean up before my husband and I left.  When we got home with two empty crockpots and two empty cake/cupcake carriers, what came to my mind was wait!! Didn’t I clean up before we left?  But I made coffee, helped DH take out the garbage (since today was garbage day) and settled in to relax for a short time before I started my evening routine.

I did do the entire routine and kept all those promises to myself again for the 4th day in a row! I think this might be a record!

This morning I got up, caught our one chicken who gets pecked on and held her while DH put on Pick-No-More.  Then I fed the birds and got dressed, running down to have breakfast with my almost 90 year old mom.

After again, going over making phone calls with her, since she told me everyone’s phone numbers were not working, discovering she was not picking up the phone off the hook before dialing and reminding her how to make calls, I came home to face the cleanup. But first, Lila was waiting for her walk.  I walked her and got home about 11:00 a.m.  I watered all the flowers and plants in both the front and back yards and then got to work on the kitchen.

It’s all clean now and I am moving on to sewing.  Yep I don’t know what I could do differently to be any more content with being a housewife!  Except if I had no pain.  Today is recovery day, but I think I may need more than one!

Day 3 The Contentment Journal, June 4, 2019

Today’s topic was way easier than day 2.  In reflection over the home you are currently in, what were you most grateful for that day?

We moved into our home August 1987.  We still live here.  I was due with our 3rd daughter in 10 days.  DH had arranged for a few friends to help us move as we were told the house would close on August 7th.  Well of course the funding did not get transferred and our realtor told us we could not get the key, even though all paperwork was done, approved and we were just waiting for the bank……who actually owned the house.  A bank president had lived here before us and they bought it from him when they transferred him and his family.  Well I was hugely pregnant and could have that baby at any moment so I got the phone number and called the person who said we could not move in until the money transferred.  Back in those days transfers did not happen over the weekend like they do now.

Let’s just say he changed his mind after talking to me and we got the key.   Our home……I truly love our home.  It is a modest 1650 square foot home, ranch style, built in 1964 in literally the first development in our small rural town in Northern Coastal California.  When I was a child, the rich people lived here.  Haha…

My older daughters were 6&8 when we moved in.  My cousin and her husband were in our area from the Sacramento Valley.  We were sitting around our dining room table and she said they could help us move the rest of our stuff.  I laughed and said, this is all the stuff we have.  Boy has that changed!

So my feelings were I was actually worried, very worried.  We did not pay rent for almost 9 years living in my childhood home that was honestly a dump, but hey it was free!  It enabled us to save and buy a beautiful 1 acre lot that we sold and bought the house.  We had planned to build a house and the land was almost paid off when I found myself pregnant again! We felt building a house and having a newborn in that little dumpy home was more than we could do. I sat up all night, literally all night going over and over our budget making sure we could afford it.

We could and we did.  I was, though, so so happy to have forced air heating.  That was the biggest thing to me, followed by wall to wall carpeting except in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Of course now, almost 32 years later, we don’t have as much carpet, but I still am so happy here.  KT was born 17 days after we moved in (of course I was late again)! I brought that newborn home, to the only home she lived in while growing up.  Good memories over the past 32 years…..

Okay onward,  commitments to myself! The sun came out yesterday, early, not when we woke up, the cloudiness and fog disappeared and by lunch it was sunny.  I had the marinara sauce going on the stove and I dumped it into the crockpot, turned it on and got ready to spend the rest of the afternoon outside! Of course I took Isabella into the garden area with me and only had to shoo her out of the strawberries once.  I ended up going out of the garden into our chicken area and moved flower pots around.  They were just a big mess of pots and flowers and I spent time arranging, putting 5 small pots up on the ledge of our chimney that is surrounded by our patio.  I lifted a bigger pot into the wheelbarrow and that was a bad idea.  I got it in and that’s as far as it got.  I did push and pull other big pots around on the patio and it is looking better.  Of course I overdid it and could barely walk into the house after weeding and working for a few hours. Why do I do this to myself?

I did my habits I am trying to establish at bedtime.  I did wash a few things that did not fit into the dishwasher instead of letting them sit in the sink overnight. Washed my face, did my teeth…..I did 5 wall pushups all day every time I went into the bathroom.  I am going to add a quick pickup around the house.  I hate it when I get up in the morning and my slippers are not where they belong!

Luckily dinner was made since DH made a big batch of burritos on Sunday morning and had left a few out for us.  I made some coleslaw which involved dumping the bag of coleslaw mix into a bowl and adding 1 tablespoon of Maries dressing and 1 tablespoon of Bolthouse.  I stuck the burritos in the oven to heat and crisp up and viola’ dinner.  That heating pad sure felt good while I ate my dinner in my recliner!

Speaking of food.  I put about a tablespoon of my homemade lemon curd into plain greek yogurt and it was super yummy!  That will be my snack today.  Not much left of the jar of curd after making ice cream on Memorial Day, lemon ice cream adding the lemon curd and crushed strawberries as it froze up.

Okay I need to watch some videos on how to add links because I will link up the recipe.  It’s delicious, refreshing and made with half and half which I always have on hand so it’s easy to decide to make since we keep the ice cream bowl in the freezer so it’s always ready to go!

Busy day ahead of me including a fundraiser tonight for our granddaughter’s theatre group.  Up and at em’!

Day 2-June 3, 2019 The Contentment Journal

Um……Ok this one is not good for me.  I did not have a great childhood.  It was not as bad as a lot of people, but is was not good.

I met my husband when I was quite young, 12 actually, turned 13 in December of 7th grade.  My older sister and my husband are the way I got through my teenage years.

The prompt asked for your happy memories with your parents……ahhhh I could only come up with one each.  Maybe things will pop into my mind as I go throughout the day. Interestingly both memories involve my own children.

My second daughter, born when I was 23, was a difficult birth as she was in the breech position.  This was 38 years ago so I did not have an ultrasound and my midwife did not know she was breech until very late in labor.  I ended up birthing her vaginally and it was very hard on me physically.  I remember my husband’s family and mine were both at the hospital viewing Emily and I was just exhausted and in pain.  I don’t remember if they gave me pain medication after the birth, I’m thinking they must have……but dad  noticed how awful I felt/looked trying to “entertain” the family.  I don’t remember how it came about, but I seem to remember dad asking if he could walk me back to my hospital room.  I remember just locking my arm with his and sort of leaning/walking back to the room.  I was so grateful to get away from everyone.

Both my parents were teachers and mom was in summer break when my third daughter was born (perfect birth or so my husband says again of another “natural” birth).  I was 29, she was our surprise baby.  Mom came over every day and stayed until my husband got home.  I distinctly remember mom making me old fashioned toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato.  You know the kind you butter both sides of one piece of bread and one side of the other piece……I remember thinking those were the best sandwiches I had ever had.

Um yup that’s pretty much it for the good memories.  I’m not sure where we are going, but I’m going with it in terms of this journal.

I kept my commitments to myself yesterday and intentionally decided to work in the yard when my husband said he planned to go to the dump to get rid of the yard waste.  I love me some dump runs so I got to work!  DH made me a grilled chicken sandwich for dinner and I made some coleslaw with half Marie’s Coleslaw dressing and the other half Bolthouse Coleslaw dressing.  It is still plenty sweet but cuts way down in the points with me being on WW.  Oh I do need to track my points from yesterday.

In other news, I am paying bigly this morning for working in the yard for 2 days.  I love my bed, but my neck hurts this morning and the rest of my upper body also.  Yes I’m writing this in bed with my coffee that my DH brought me (memory foam, dual remote control adjustable king size bed).  I dread getting up this morning a bit.

I am up and decided to read my day 3 prompt in Rachel Cruze’s contentment journal.  Today’s topic is about your home…….I will ponder this today while doing my normal stay at home wife stuff and write tomorrow.

Recap Day 1-June 2, 2019

My husband went to work early like he does most days and was home at around 10:00 a.m. since it is a Saturday. He went outside and a few minutes later he was outside the kitchen window with a completely broken Spade Fork.  It was my mother’s favorite garden tool.  She worried constantly about that thing when she first moved into the assisted living facility that I retired from as director.  She was afraid she left it out and someone was going to steal it.  I told her I brought it home and she seemed to relax after that.

After I finished with the kitchen I went out to “help”.  This consisted of me pulling weeds out of the area that DH was working on.  The plan was to place landscaping material down and go get some chips at our local nursery here in our small town.  Our neighbors next door came over to chat and ended up going into our backyard to see the garden area.  Their little dog chased back and forth at the chicken wire fence DH put up to protect our garden from our chickens, trying to find a spot she could get through to get our chickens.  It was hilarious.  We are really lucky that Lila wants nothing to do with them after one attacked her, springing onto her back with claws out, when they were adolescents.  The chickens have gotten better about not chasing her too. They peacefully coexist at this point.

So onward to the reason I am back.  My commitment to myself:  I decided I will do wall push-ups every time I go into the bathroom for any reason.  Just 5 wall pushups.  I kept that commitment yesterday. I cleaned the kitchen and made coffee.  I brushed, used the electric toothbrush and water pic.  I washed my now sunburned face and put on the Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.  I put moisturizer on my face.  I tracked my points.  And here I am.

Commitment Journal: Write down a few things that you are discouraged about right now.  I wrote Money. The ability to get it all done, under control and maintain it (my responsibilities) with my fibromyalgia. My #1 thing I am discouraged about is my inability to keep commitments to myself.

Day 1 Prompt: Where do you struggle? Keeping commitments to myself.  What are you excited about? I am excited about the possibilities if I just could do that.

My plan for Day 2? I did not get down to see mom though we did finish the area in our front yard, I should say DH did.  After a few hours in the yard I was in a lot of pain, had to take another pain pill just to finish watering my flowers and garden.  So I am keeping today open to take mom to church and see what DH wants to do.  He works really hard so I will do whatever he wants to do.  We will probably do the burritos since we did not get them done yesterday.  That will take most of the day.

My daughter asked me to make two lasagnas for another fundraiser for my granddaughter’s theatre group so I make do the marinara sauce since it is always better the next day.  Fundraiser is Tuesday evening so I will assemble, bake and take them early Tuesday evening.

I was woken up on this Sunday morning by Verizon letting me know my payment posted.  I called them and asked how to make it stop.  I will do that today on line, changing the alerts.

Okay let’s do this!

Promises Made, Promises NOT Kept

I talk to my sister on the phone……a lot.  It’s so nice that long distance is basically free now after many years of us both having to watch out for how much we were talking on the phone with those long distance charges and our smaller incomes and raising children, etc.

I always make grandiose plans for myself, commitments to myself and let’s face it, I just don’t feel important enough to actually follow through on those things.  I am an Obliger for anyone who is familiar with Gretchen Rubin and her books.  While reading Better Than Before the phrase “do you put everyone else’s needs above your own to the point of exhaustion?” Okay I’m paraphrasing.  That phrase hit me between the eyes.  Why yes, yes I do.  Do you keep commitments to yourself.  Um no.   I am an excellent, grade A+ obliger.  I’m okay being an obliger, I do really enjoy doing things for other people, as my past entries may show. But I really wish I had just a little bit more of an Upholder in me.

I rejoined WW recently (formerly Weight Watchers, but apparently Oprah didn’t like that name) and at yesterday’s meeting, where I surprisingly had lost 2 pounds, the topic was reset.  Reset? I know all about reset, I do it almost daily!  So I am going to make an easier commitment.

For the next 90 days I am going to use Rachel Cruze’s new book, The Contentment Journal, and write even just a few words about the days prompt and my response during breakfast, which I guess means I will be a day behind because I don’t see myself stopping right now and doing the first day’s entry because I need to water my flowers, finish cutting out the apron’s for Father’s Day I have promised to make for a friend of my middle daughter’s (actually her friend since age 4 or thereabouts), clean my house up after a whirlwind declutter yesterday evening for my granddaughter’s theatre group’s garage sale, walk my dog, and help DH make burritos (both breakfast and regular).  Sometime I need to run down and see my almost 90-year old mom at her assisted living facility (the one I retired from) and whatever else pops up today.

I want to do this for me.  I hate to think I am going to get to the end of my life having never kept a commitment to myself.  I’m 61 now and in 7 months I will turn 62.  C’mon Cheryl you can do this…it’s only 90 days!

I’m 60, OMG I’m 60!

IMG_5653IMG_5677I’m starting to think it’s now or never for me becoming who I really want to be.  I turned 60 on December 22, 2017.

Well who do I want to be?  I want to be the grandma that every little girl could hope for.  I want to be spontaneous and able to pull out art/craft  projects at a moment’s notice.  I want to enjoy sitting in the backyard watching the girls, realizing these days may be long, but the years are very short.  I want to enjoy being silly and cooking and gardening and reading with them.

I want to be a wife who patiently listens (I really need to work on that one), and I want to be able to cook a decent  meal when my husband is too tired to do it (he is the family chef).  I want to be able to enjoy things my husband enjoys just for the sake of making him happy (watching marathon Food Network….ugh).  I want to not worry and allow my husband to take care of me.

I want to be a mom that my daughters can talk to about anything, (well except maybe sex).  I want to not give advice and realize that sometimes the girls may just want me to listen.  I want to be able to help them when they need help and I want them to know they can always depend on me.

Also I want to stop driving myself crazy not being able to find things, or wait until the last minute to do things.  I want to be more relaxed.  I want to exercise and maintain a healthy weight.  I want to keep my house clean enough to never cringe if someone stops by.  I want to make a difference.

Which brings me to quilting.  Before Ally was born (I cannot believe she is 9!) I went with my daughter to a financial class that was put on by the Navy wives at Camp LeJeune.  After the class, the moms were all given care packages that included a hand crocheted blanket.  The first though I had was, “wow someone or a group made all these different blankets”.   I knew right then someday I wanted to do the same thing, only quilts.

This year I finally started.  A little girl who is an Army brat was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma not long after I met her in the little quilt shop I work in occasionally.  She was visiting her grandmother who brought her in along with her aunt (who is a regular customer).  I quickly bonded with her and when I heard about her cancer I offered to make a quilt for her.  The aunt is a pretty new quilter and gratefully picked out the fabric.  I made an easy quilt for her, a local long arm quilter quilted it for me for free, and I sent it off.

I met a quilter this year at the shop who makes quilts for military babies in Southern California.  I knew God orchestrated that visit to the shop since I only work one day a week generally.  I told her my story and she gave me her name, address, email address and told me they would make sure anything I sent would get to the right place.  I am so excited to get started on making a few this year.

My other quilting goals…..oh my I have so many, right now it stands at 12 for family.  But first I am reorganizing my fabric and sewing room and giving it a good cleaning.  I  have two quilts cut out and cannot wait to get started!

My World Starts Over Again!

After 4 years in the Assisted Living industry, I have retired once again.  My job was very rewarding, but also very stressful both mentally and physically, so I once again have quit working.  This time I have no plans to ever go back to work.  I am not sure if anyone will read my blog, but I want to use it as an online journal, so to speak, which is exactly what I said last time!

My dear sweet husband of almost 38 years has been very supportive of me in making this decision, but I have to think he kind of likes me taking on some of the jobs that he does in addition to working full-time running our business.

This is my 5th week being retired.  I thought for sure I would be totally up to date on cleaning, organizing and our yard would be worthy of a tour.  Hahahaha…..not even close!  So I will do a little bit every day to work towards those goals.

Last weekend was our 40th high school reunion and it was so much fun.  We could not have had a better time, seriously.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and talked to people who were not my friends in high school and my husband did the same.  I cannot say enough about it!  Ironically my husband’s favorite teacher passed away on Sunday, the last day of our reunion.  Dennis Cahill taught biology and Ron even talked me into taking one of his classes one year.  I barely passed!  I don’t think Ron ever got anything less than an A in Mr. Cahill’s classes.  He will be missed.

This week I am in SoCa as Pyper turns 2 today and Ally will be 8 on the 18th!   WordPress has a lot of new looking icons, so I am going to have to learn to post pictures all over again!


2015 Journaling

I think typing is so much easier than writing!  I think this means to keep a journal/diary I should just keep up on my blogging. If anyone reads, great, if not fine too. I want to look back at what was happening in my life that I may have forgotten.

2014 was so busy with OD’s wedding in Maui March 20, 2014 and GD2 born in August.  Along with that I was promoted in July and work is busy, busy, busy.

I have settled in and it is time to try to start improving my life again.  Thanks to meds Fibro is under control and I can get a lot done as long as I stop before it is too much!  Work smarter, not harder.

Purging and organizing: I have been reading and participating in the Konmarie group on Facebook and have learned a lot and finished my clothes.  Still have lots to do, but I feel it is doable.

Gardening:  The yard waste pile from the last 27 years is gone!  We will be planning a new garden after closely watching the sun over the last year, picking out the new spot.   With the drought we did not garden last year, but I think we are good to go this year water wise.

Quilting:  Aaahhh my first love.  Always have several projects going!

I also plan to do more reading again.  Currently I am reading W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton.

Money:  20% to retirement savings and making sure we keep up on meal planning!

I plan to enjoy the girls as we do not know how long they will be with us.  GD2 almost has a tooth through.  GD1 is smart as a whip.  She loves school and her family and she makes a point to let us know.  She is a sweetie pie!