Of Beginnings and Endings

What a stage of life I’m in!  Just full of beginnings and endings, which are totally occupying my mind right now.

On the “endings” side, my mother, in her early 90s, is physically deteriorating, slowly.  She was very stubborn and obstinate about hiring in-home care and insisted for several months that she could do everything herself, that she would get better.  I’m learning that this is not usually the case.  When you get on in years, it’s usually downhill, and it can be a slippery slope.  One step forward, two steps back.  Finally, after ___# falls (I lost count), and ___# hospital visits, and 2 rehab stays, Mom finally gave in, and has hired 24/7 in-home care.  What a relief!  I call her at least 3-4 times a week, and she’s usually in pretty good spirits.  Finally!

 

On the “beginnings” side, my daughter is busily planning her wedding, and she is going all out. She is marrying the love of her life, a very nice Aussie man, whom I’m looking forward to meeting. It will be a small wedding, but extravagant, and classy.  It will be in her favorite tropical location, and the happy couple will live in Australia.  Right now, I’m just looking forward to my “mother of the bride” role.  Gosh, I’ll have to find a dress!!

So much life… so little time!

‘Til my next financial/stock market post…

~B-

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Care-giving for the Elderly

I just don’t understand it…  I spent about 3 weeks helping my 93-year-old mother recover from a bad fall where she broke four ribs.  I was glad to go and do it, even though it meant leaving my own home and hubby for a long time and putting up with an almost constant, depressing, attitude from her.  I was OK with helping with cooking, light housekeeping and chores, but the constant whining and complaints definitely wore me down.

I’m not cut out for this.

Don’t me wrong, my mother deeply appreciated what I did for her, and she recovered quite nicely, in my opinion.  She graduated from using a walker, to a cane, to using nothing at all, took a shower on her own, and even did some light chores like gathering up the garbage.  She has wonderful resources, like neighbors eager to help anytime, and the financial capability to hire help around the house, if needed, when it gets too much. She can even drive short distances, within a 1-2 mile radius, to places like the doctor, beauty parlor (a great spirit booster), grocery shopping, etc. in familiar territory. It takes her a long time to get dressed and get ready to go anywhere, but she does it.

But instead of being happy with her improvement and her abilities, she chooses to whine and complain about what she can’t do, how exhausted she is, how overwhelmed she is with everything, on and on.

And I don’t understand. I have never been 93.  And, I believe I’m of a different personality type who sees the positive. I just hope I can maintain that, as I age myself.

If anyone wants to share experiences with caring for an older parent, let’s talk…

All the best,

~B-

Family History – Should I Have Opened This Door?

A cousin I met once – and on his family tree claims my father as his father. Is he my cousin or my brother? I sent a message, and no response, so I may never know for sure.

A great-grandfather who leveraged/borrowed too much, ended up broke, and abandoned his family for at least 5 years. He later ended up divorced, broke and alone.

Distant cousins from the past who were arrested numerous times for inciting riots. Over what, nothing says.

I once had a college roommate who told me she hated people who knew their family history, because they thought they were better than everyone else. If she knew mine, maybe it would have changed her mind. LOL!

It is all very interesting, though, and it is history. Your family history is a tiny part of mega-history, and we could all stand to learn from it. The great-grandfather I mentioned above made decisions that affected his adult children (my grandparents), as well as my parents, and their attitudes toward many things, which in turn, affected how I grew up.

So, go ahead, explore your past, take “the red pill” to coin a phrase from “The Matrix”, and take what you need from it. There’s a lot out there on places like Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com. You might be surprised at what you might find. And, if you have the means, get the DNA test done. There are surprises there, too.

Things That Just Don’t Make Sense

Being retired and and intuitive introvert (INTJ), I find I have a lot of time on my hands to just sit around and think about stuff. So, I thought I’d share a list of things that just never quite made sense to me.  Here goes:

1. Why can’t we put our elbows on the table?

I’ve actually done a little research on this.  One answer says back in the day, tables were just a loose plank set on top of four legs.  Leaning on them would cause the plank to fall off, spilling the food all over the place.  Another was that it was seen as a threat that you were about to steal someone else’s food.  Wow.  This little piece of table manners makes no sense in this day and age, when tables are pretty stable… heck, I lean on mine a bit when I get up.  And, there’s usually plenty of food to go around; no need to steal it from anyone anymore.  Plus, a table is just about the right height to rest my elbows on while eating fried chicken, or a sandwich.

Want to help me start a trend?  Let’s put our elbows on the table!  <evil laugh>Hahahaha!!!</evil laugh>

2. My hair starts looking like hell, so I avoid animal control trucks, and finally make an appointment at a salon.  Getting my hair done is something of a chore for me, not the marvelous luxury that many women seem to actually enjoy.  But the day of the appointment, BEFORE I go in, my hair looks great, falls into place, and looks like a shampoo commercial.  Go figure. 

3. As an amateur photographer in love with the beauty of flowers, it is frustrating that most of the best wild flowers I see are by the side of a very busy street or highway, and I can’t stop.  Darn!

4. The stock market’s reaction to news almost never makes sense.
One example that comes to mind is that unemployment goes down.  If the stock market goes down, too, they say it is because companies have to spend more money on more employees.  Yeah, right.  And, if unemployment goes down, and the stock market goes up, it’s because the economy is in good shape.  That’s why trying to trade stocks based on news is totally pointless, and I just follow the charts every month.  That’s the only thing that’s worked for me.

5. Netflix why is it still the only app on our Smart TV that has problems.  YouTube, NBC app, etc. all work great.  Netflix requires us to reboot our network about once a week. What a hassle!

6. Netflix again… they keep adding new series, but don’t finish the ones they started.  They just leave them hanging in the middle of nowhere.  Sense8 and Bloodline come to mind.  Disappointing.

7. “They hate you if you are clever, and they despise a fool.”
Yep, thanks for those words, John Lennon.
 Your song, “Working Class Hero” sums up the way people, especially classmates, treated me growing up.  Ah well, it’s my time now, and I can’t say I care anymore.  Life’s gotten progressively better and I love it now.

‘Til next time, love and laughs..

~B-

 

Of Weddings, Flowers and Sunny Weather

Summer is in full swing where I live in the great Pacific Northwest, Seattle area. People are getting active outside, neighbors are coming out of their “caves”, so to speak, and people are interacting once again. We take full advantage of our two weeks of summer around here. 😉

A good friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in ages, got married for the second time. It was a very long gap in between relationships, so there’s a good chance this one will last. This couple lives to vacation in Mexico near Cancun, and they go for one week once or twice a year with other friends, so the wedding had a tropical and Mexican theme to it. It was totally fun, everyone was joyful and happy, and I got to see people I haven’t seen in years. Fun, fun, fun.

Another friend of mine just finished re-doing their deck, so they’ve invited us to a party at their house. I feel like a social butterfly with all this activity. Even my DH is doing work around the house, and getting after some final touches on our remodel job. YAY!

Meanwhile, I’m making progress on my online guitar lessons, my crochet project that I’ll probably have to partly re-do, >:P and keeping up with finances.

Speaking of which, I saved about $400/year switching to Progressive from AARP Hartford. Amazing rates, and it was totally worth having to spend time getting all these quotes. It pays to shop around.

‘Til July 31/Aug 1, when I’ll post my investing update…

~B-

My First Guitar Tab!!

As promised, I completed a guitar tab for “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”. I also submitted it to *ultimateguitar.com,* but since I didn’t register, they may or may not post it. Also, I forgot to put my name on the darn thing before I submitted it… hey, they didn’t ask. I’ll check in a couple of days and see if they posted it and if they did, I’ll update this post and put the link on here. If they don’t then here it is:

SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY

(pdf file – you need a PDF reader, like Adobe Acrobat, to view).

OK, I did it right this time, logged in, and then posted it.  And, they approved it!  YAY!

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/o/otis_redding/sittin_on_the_dock_of_the_bay_ver6_tab.htm

 

 

Sorry I’m late…

Whoops! Time flies, and I’m overdue for my usual mid-month “Miscellaneous” post. Hey, even us B- types get a bit busy sometimes and get lost in what we’re doing. Sheesh! Stuff like crocheting, celebrating birthdays and Father’s Day, going out to meet up with a few friends (once in a Blue Moon, everyone I know calls me at once), and the inevitable activity as you get older, doctor and dental appointments. UGH!!

Another thing is, as usual, I’m struggling to think of things to write about, so here’s just a quick summary of what I’ve been up to:

Crocheting:

Finished a vintage 70s vest for my mom, similar to this picture.

It actually turned out pretty good and she’s happy with it, so I’m happy. It was just a simple DC, chain3, etc., then on the next row, DC in the ch3 space, ch3, etc. It was fun to do, and went fairly quickly.

I’m now making granny squares with cotton thread to make another lacy top, this one for myself. I’m using a different motif for this one, though and I’ll post it on here in a few months (or years) when I’m done. I don’t know if my dear daughter is even wearing the one I made for her as she travels the world.. oh, well…

Top4Blog
This is the top I made for my daughter; I’m using a different motif this time.

Podcasts:

One of my favorite things to do is listen to interesting (to me, anyway) podcasts while I’m crocheting. I listen to Meb Faber’s, Personality Hacker, Cracked, With Friends Like These, and Anxiety USA.

Guitar:

I’m going thru some online guitar lessons, and find that the recommended half-hour of practice isn’t enough. I usually do all the exercises, then goof around for another half hour on what I want to goof off with. An awesome discovery I’ve made is guitar tabs. Here’s a sample of “Killing Me Softly” that I found on ultimateguitar.com. So much easier than trying to read music and figure out where the notes are, which string to play them on, etc. I was never introduced to this back in the 60s when I first started at age 12, and I love this! I’m working on one for “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, one of my all-time faves. I’ll post it when I’m done.Guitars

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If you’ve made it to the end, thank you so much for hanging in there. It’s hard to find real-life folks that are even interested in the same things I am.

‘Til later,
B-