Gratitude Sunday: Remembering My Dad

Since my dad died three years ago, Father’s Day is the worst day of the year for me.  I’m depressed for two or weeks before.  I want to stay and bed and do nothing.  I think it’s because of all the Father’s Day commercials that are on tv and basically every where.

Remember dad.  That’s what the commercials say.  My heart says.  I didn’t forget.  How can I forget?  I will never forget.  He was my world.  My hero.  He was my dad.

I wish I could crawl in a hole today and just disappear until tomorrow.  I wish I didn’t have to visit my dad’s crypt at the cemetery.  I wish I didn’t have see all of the dad’s going out to eat or doing special things with their kids.

But I can’t.

So instead I’m going to do is make a list of what my dad taught me and the values he instilled in me and be grateful for the time we had together here on earth.

The gift of laughter.  My dad was funny.  He was always saying something funny to make people laugh.  I remember a couple of years ago I took my dad to his doctor’s appointment.  He looked at the doctor and asked, “My daughter looks good for being 60 doesn’t she?”  I slapped him, but I laughed.  He laughed.  Doctor Brian laughed.  I was 50.  The zipper of his pants was always down.  My mom was always tell him to zip up.  If you commented on his zipper being down he would tell you “What can’t get up, can’t get out” or “I’m trying to keep my tool cool.” I just shook my head.  He always joked around and one of his favorite ways to irritate my mom was to tell people that he watered my mom’s plants at night by peeing on them.   One of favorite memories happened 20 years ago at Road America.  We were at the Indy Car races and the lady was singing the National Anthem.  We are standing on the bleachers.  There had to have been 100 people around us and in the middle of the National Anthem he yells out “Will someone shoot the bitch?”  OMG!  I was so embarassed.  My mom was embarrassed.  My friends and the people around us thought  it was hilarious.  Everyone started laughing.   The lady was terrible and totally ruined it.  He shouldn’t have said anything, but that was my dad.  Off the cuff.  He spoke how he felt.  There was definitely no filter on that mouth.

A giving heart.  My dad would give you the shirt off his back (my mom too) if you needed it.  If you needed his help all you had to do was call and he would do what he could to help.  There were several times in high school my friends didn’t have a ride to get to where I was at (maybe the skating rink) and he would pick them up and give them a ride.  He would always ask me if I needed money.  If he had it his way and had the money he would have bought enough land for all of us kids to live in seperate land on his property.

His love of shooting pool (billards).  My dad loved to shoot pool and was a hustler in his twenties.  We’ve had a pool table in our house ever since I can remember.  He taught all of kids how to shoot.  In high school we would play to 100.  Whoever got 100 balls in first won.  You shot until you missed and it was the other persons turn.  I never won.  I rarely made it to 50, but after high school I went to the bars (I was legal at 18) and started to shoot on a league.  Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I continued to get better to the point that I would beat him.  He got mad, but he was proud.  I loved to stop in at his house and share my story of some cocky guy strutting his stuff in the bar thinking he could beat me because I was a girl and me handing his ass to him after I kicked it.  Those stories made both of our days.

Saving change.  Ever since I can remember my dad has saved change.  He always had coins jingling in his pocket.  We would ask for them, but he rarely shared his change.  “The coins go in the bank,” He would tell us.  His banks were “I dream of Jeannie” bottles.  The tall, decorative bottles with the tapered neck and the big bottoms.  I remember he had a orange bottle that my mom found him at a garage sale.  My parents saved their money for vacations.  After we graduated, my dad rolled his coins and saved it for a rainy day.  Saving change has always been a part of my life.  I have saved my own change since I started babysitting.  My husband and I save our change.  When my husband and I got married we had a memory candle to remember all of the important people that weren’t there. (My dad was still alive).  After we moved I found the memory candle and I got rid of the candle, but kept the candle holder.  It’s glass and has an really pretty saying about remembering people that we have loved and lost.  I repurposed it to “My pennies from Heaven” holder.  My dad was always picking up up coins from on the ground, from coin releases on pay phones and candy and cigarette (remember those???) machines.  I know my dad is with me when I find a penny.  I take it home and put it in the jar.  I wonder how long it will take me to fill it up.

His love of camping.  My dad grew up about five hours away from our house.  Every summer we would take our pop up camper and my grandma for a week to visit his aunts and uncles.  Back then it was pit toilets and no showers.  I liked seeing my relatives, but I really hated the pit toilets.   I loved sitting around the camp fire at night and walking and hanging out during the day.  I loved being with my dad.  Anywhere.  I remember walking to the bathroom with my dad at night with our flashlights and making  patterns in the trees.   (Even now I walk to the bathroom when we are camping every night.  With my flashlight in hand I make patterns in the trees.  I wonder if he can see me).  I think of my dad and the good times we had.  After high school I didn’t go camping again until I met my husband.  He, too, loved camping so we bought a trailer and before my dad passed he and my mom would come and visit us when we were camping.  It was cool to be able to share that with him.

My love of M&M’s.  I loved m&m’s since I can remember.  My mom told me a couple of years ago that’s how my dad potty trained me.  If I went to the bathroom I would get one m&m and if I didn’t go I wouldn’t get any.  I always thought my mom potty trained us.  My dad must have always gave me the brown ones because those are my favorites.

My dad was a special person.  To this day my cousins still tell me that they wished they had my parents as their own.

I miss my dad dearly.  I miss him every day.  I miss seeing him sitting on my parents deck smoking a cigarette (which I hated).  I miss hearing him calling me “kid”.  I miss seeing him smile.  I miss watching football with him.  He’s a Packer fan.  I’m a Steeler fan.  I miss him in my new house even though he has never been there.  I wish he could come and see it.  I wish I could see the happiness on his face when he see it for the first time. (He hated me living at my old house).

He made my heart smile and I was very lucky to have him as my dad.

I love you, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day.


Possessions and Emotions

I’m beginning to understand why hoarders hoard.  As you may know, with this move I’ve been going through my stuff and I’m not entirely happy with what I have been finding and learning about myself.

While unpacking this week I found 11 college ruled (my favorite) notebooks in a box and 4 other notebooks in other boxes.  Why I felt I had to have 15 notebooks I have no clue.  It’s not like there is going to be a notebook shortage in the future and I will run out.  As far as I know, notebooks are made every day

Even though I haven’t used any of them I know why I bought them.  I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this to the world.   I liked the purple color of the cover of one notebooks.  I liked what three of the notebooks said on the front cover.  I liked the flower design on the front cover of two notebooks.   On two of the notebooks I liked the border around the edge of the page.  I know.  Sad, but true

I’m sitting here shaking my head.  I don’t need all of the notebooks so why did I buy them?  I have one notebook in my truck to take notes in or to take in a restaurant with me to work on my novel or blog posts and I have one notebook in the living room to do the same.  But, even so, I currently have four notebooks that are being used for this purpose.  (While we were moving I couldn’t find the notebooks so I bought new ones  Don’t ask).  So why would I need more? I have no clue.

Realizing I have 15 notebooks brings up a lot of emotions.  I can’t believe I’m sharing this with the world, but here it goes.

Embarrassment.  I can’t believe that I have 15 notebooks.  How did I let myself get 15 notebooks?  (This is why I had to get rid of the hutch.  It was helping me hoard)  How did I not know I had 15 notebooks?  It’s so ridiculous to me that I would spend money on buying something I already had more than enough of.  Also, it makes me realize that I really don’t know myself and I how I operate in that area of my life.

Overwhelmed.  I learned that I buy stuff based on feeling.  Not if I need it or not, but on feeling.  That’s not exactly the smartest way to shop.  Yesterday I went through my notebooks.  I sat in my notebook shit and dealt with all of the feelings that came to the surface.   I’ve decided to keep 3 or 4 notebooks.  Maybe two.  I just can’t keep all of this shit.  I’m going to donate the notebooks to a local school where people who really need them can use them.

Anger.  Why am I a hoarder?  What part of myself do I have to change to become a non hoarder?  I am pissed off because that money could have been used to buy other things.  I know I am being too hard on myself but what the hell was I thinking?  15 notebooks?  Seriously?  I can only guess how having these notebooks and other stuff have clogged up my life so I couldn’t let stuff I really wanted/needed in.  Maybe this is why I have issues with money.  I buy stuff I really don’t need.

Sad.   I think on some level I knew I was a hoarder, but I didn’t want to deal with it.  I know I have to let go of this unneeded stuff and I’m sad.  I know it’s going to open up my life to let knew stuff in, but still I’m a little sad.  For some reason I enjoy having stuff.

I feel like a dumb ass for having the notebooks.  I’m suppose to be an adult who is capable of making competent decisions.  I’m seeing a part of myself that I didn’t realize fully was there.  At 53.  What the hell took so long.

Excuse me, but I must go.  I have to find a box to put my notebooks in so I can take them to a good home.

I’ll be going through my  hoarders pile of books next.   Oh shit.  I’m in trouble.


May Anthony and Kate Rest In Peace

I just learned of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade’s suicides over the past weekend and I am shocked.


I guess what I don’t understand is why.  How can someone be that depressed that they don’t want to live anymore?  I can honestly say that I have never had suicidal thoughts.  I have to admit I live a charmed life.  I am happy go lucky.  I look at the positive side of life.  I believe that God doesn’t give me anything I can’t handle.  I am lucky.

I don’t know the other side of the coin.

Two girls (one of them was her best friend) my niece hung around with killed themselves.  They were 13 and 15.  We were worried that my niece would follow suit.  She has had so many people die in her short 16 years.  Both grandfathers, a favorite uncle, a cousin (by suicide), three dogs, numerous cats and other people.  Today she is on solid ground.

Or is she?  She seemed to be this weekend.  We had a really great time this weekend, but I worry about her.

We never know, do we?

I loved watching Bourdain’s show and learning about different countries.  I loved Kate Spade’s handbags.  I would have never thought they would commit suicide.  WTF???? I thought they had it made.  That shows you how much I know.  The news shakes me to my core.

I am in shock.

How do we know?  I don’t see my niece a lot, but I try to text her every other day.  Whenever I hear “our” song I text her.  Oooh   Oooh  Shut up and dance with me.  (Lyrics from our song).  She asked me why I text her the lyrics.  I told her to let her know I’m thinking about her and that I love her.  Now she texts me when she hears our song.  I text her words of encouragement and thoughts for the day.

She has really came out of her shell in the last couple of months.  She’s isn’t so afraid to talk to people and ask for what she needs.  She has really matured.  She seems happier.  More outgoing and enjoying her teen years.  She’s even going to school functions.

But after hearing about Anthony and Kate maybe I am wrong.  Maybe she’s feeling the way they maybe felt and I just don’t see it.

My brother’s friend, Keith, committed suicide when they were in high school.  My brother took me to his grave a couple days after the funeral.  I cried and I cried.  There were flowers and pictures and balloons on a his grave.  I could see how much he was loved and how many people cared about him.  I always wondered if he saw it and if not why?  I was so apparent to me.  Maybe it wasn’t to him.  That’s what I don’t understand.  Why couldn’t he see it if I could?

I know I am rambling (and thanks for reading my ramble), but I realize now that I really don’t know anything.  Do we really know anyone or the pain they are feeling?  We may think we do, but do we really?

I have a lot to learn.  About my niece and about suicide in general.

My heart goes out to Anthony’s and Kate’s family and friends.  My heart breaks for them.

Rest in peace Anthony and Kate.  I won’t forget you.


Gratitude Thursday

I had a crappy day yesterday and today is not much better. This 10 hour mandatory overtime sucks. I’m tired of it. It doesn’t make for a wonderful workday so I’m going to do what I did last week and list the things i am grateful for.

1. That it is almost Friday. Yeah!

2. Vacation. I’m taking a half day tomorrow.

3. For a girls weekend trip to Madison with my mom, my sister and my niece.

4. For the awesome new kitchen table and six chairs I bought with my 20 year award money that my employer has wrote a check for. It is awesome

5. For the fact that I am home and going to bed. I’m beat.

Not much happier but grateful.

One Of My Favorite Things

I love this little planter. It’s an old kettle that I bought a garage sale. I had my husband drill to a hole in the bottom so the extra water can run out.

I have done this several times in the past couple of years. I find something interesting at garage sale and instead of using it for it’s intended use I use it as a planter. A couple years ago at a garage sale in a swanky part of town I bought a really pretty green fruit bowl with beautiful red and green decorative handles. I was talking to my mom about my plans to use it as a planter and the lady having the garage sale looked horrified. “You’re going to use it as what?” I swear she wanted to buy it back.

I haven’t been to many garage sales this year so I haven’t been able to look for any unique planters. I can’t wait to go and and some really cool old stuff. Like an old spittoon. I think that would make great planter.

In the old house I had 15 planters on the deck and along the driveway. I had 3 or 4 hanging baskets every summer. This year I have 5 planters and 1 hanging basket. Quite a difference but definitely simpler. I have my favorite flowers. Daisies. I love the daisies that open during the day and close at night. The purple ones are my favorite.

I love my flowers. I smile everytime time I walk out the door and see them. I am one lucky girl.

Gratitude Saturday

I have a lot to be grateful for this Saturday.  It’s been a busy two weeks with painting and moving stuff to the new house.  Everything is working out good so far. Let’s hope it continues….

Here’s is what I am grateful for today.

  1.  For my family and my in laws.  They have been really helpful and we are grateful   for their help.
  2.  For the new house.  It was well worth the wait.  I feel we are meant to be there.   This is where the next chapter of our lives start.
  3.  For my job.  I am grateful that we have two different starting times when we are   on overtime.  We are on nine hours so I can either start at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.  I’ve   strolled into work at 2 almost all week.  I am grateful for that extra hour.
  4.  For my friends at work.  They are an encouraging bunch and I am grateful for that.
  5.  For my husband who is on this wonderful journey with me.  i wouldn’t have it any  other way.
  6.  For Home Depot for having exactly the yellow paint I wanted.  The name of the  exact color is at the new house.  I wish I had it here to share in this post.  It is exactly the yellow I envisioned the house to be.  I am extremely happy.
  7.   For my cousin who we rent from.  I thought he would be totally pissed that we bought a house and are moving, but he’s been really cool about it.
  8.   For my dad and my mother and father in law and other family and friends up above who are looking down on us and smiling.  I know they are part of the reason our house dream is coming true.
  9.  For all that I have learned in the last couple of weeks.  Especially about paint and painting.  I think my sister in law has turned me into a paint snob.  When I was looking for my color yellow in home depot I grabbed all of the yellow paint samples and took them to a sunny spot so I could them clearly.  One was too green.  The other a little more brown than I wanted.  I have learned a lot about colors and sheen and painting.  I’m really proud of myself.
  10.  For my readers.  I know I haven’t been posting regularly and that bums me out because I miss being a part of my blog and commenting on other blogs like I used to.  Hopefully after we are completely moved and my internet is hooked up I can blog on a regular basis.  I’m praying the internet at the new house is as good as the internet at this house. Thank you for your understanding!!

I’m going to bed with a grateful heart tonight!


Embrace Your Weirdness

Last month or so The G Sandwhich ( wrote on her blog that she likes to watch the Maury show.  A couple of days later my coworker, L, shared with me the details of a fascinating documentary about elephants her and her husband watched over the weekend.

Isn’t it neat that we all have these little pieces of ourselves?  Little pieces that we don’t always share with others because they may think we are weird and/or laugh at us.  We may not think these little pieces are neat.  We may think they are weird, but they may not be to the people we share them with.

I  love it when someone shares little pieces of themselves with me.  It helps me get to know them better and on a deeper level.  I love to learn new things.   For example: I never realized that an elephant has such a huge penis and that a female elephant is pregnant for a year and a half.  (Did you know that?) I like it when people share these weird things with me.  I love it when people make me think about new things, different experiences and what my weird things are.

I think we need to embrace these parts of ourselves and own them because those little parts make us who we are.  Complex and interesting human beings.  I think the more knowledge we have, the more well rounded people we are.  We have more to bring to a conversation (not that I would discuss an elephant’s penis size with people I don’t know) and a different perspective to share with others.

Embrace your weirdness today and share it with others.  Who knows what will happen or what you will learn.