My Blogging Break: Part One Granddaughters’ Visit

Other than a few photo challenges and several Writers’ Quote Wednesday 2015 posts, I was on a Blogging Break during April and May.  Sometimes, stepping away from that which we enjoy opens our space up to receive even greater joy and happiness.

This is exactly what happened with me during April and May when gifted with the opportunity to spend quality time with my visiting granddaughters as well as a cousin that I had not seen for more than eight years.

I needed a series of three posts to record most of what happened during this blogging break.

Part 1:  Granddaughters Visit

Lady C, 23-years-old, and Cupcake, 6-years-old, visited us during their spring break, in April.  It was a busy week filled with planned and unplanned activities.

We started off with a day at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom where Hubby and I both agreed that walking around in this huge theme park was not an option.  We rented scooters.

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Hubby

Even with scooters it was difficult to keep up with the granddaughters as we moved from attraction to attraction maneuvering our way through huge crowds.

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SeasonedSistah2 – Waiting in Line to Get on Tea Cup Ride

Lady C has visited Magic Kingdom, almost yearly, since she was 3-years-old.  This was only the fourth visit for Cupcake; and, she still gets over stimulated when she enters Disney’s  world of fantasy.

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Cupcake
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Cupcake and Lady C

Our second outing was to the Wet N’ Wild Water Park.  Walking or scooting through the water park observing our precious granddaughters climb up to high towers and plunge down into a body of water, was more stress than Hubby and I could handle.  We chose to relax in a rented Cabana.

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Hubby Relaxing

As the Florida heat rose, we sought relief and closed off the cabana to the hot sun rays but left the back panels open for a nice breeze.  It made for a serene and relaxing day.

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Throughout the day, the granddaughters returned to the cabana to raid the small refrigerator we had filled up with our own special snacks and drinks.

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Lady C and Cupcake

After a full-day at the water park, we were all exhausted.  The next day was a relaxation day at home with a quick trip to the nail shop for a mani/pedi.

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Lady C

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Cupcake, always the creative one, chose to have every nail and toe painted a different color; and, Lady C went for a very subtle apple green color.

The granddaughters and I, on our last outing spent a quiet Sunday afternoon painting at a local pottery gallery.

Lady C and I painted vases.

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Lady C

There were an unbelievable number of pottery pieces and it took Cupcake a while to decide.  But, she finally picked one of her favorite pets — a cat — like the one at her Grandma Cebby’s house.

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Cupcake

Here’s a look at our masterpieces.

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Lady C’s Two Color Vase; SeasonedSistah2s Single Color Vase; and, Cupcake’s Cat

I am grateful that this blog opened my space up to record my life experiences.  For, if my memory fades and/or when I leave this world there is a record of those things that brought both happiness and sadness into my space.

Finally, our children and grandchildren live thousands of miles away; and, I am especially blessed in their presence.

(Part 2 and 3 of This Series Coming Soon)

 

My Blogging Hiatus Experience

In an opening scene of the 2013 TV series, Revenge, “Emily Thorne says:

“They say the best-laid plans often go awry.  Because no matter how detailed the preparation, a plan will always have a WEAK SPOT…..”

Blogging Hiatus Plan

In anticipation of our two granddaughters visiting over spring break and Hubby and I celebrated our 55th Wedding Anniversary, I went on a 3+ week blogging hiatus.  I devoted the first week to scheduling and organizing:

  • exciting activities for the granddaughters during their seven-day visit; and
  • interesting places for Hubby and I to visit over our four-day mini vacation.

“Weak Spot”

Days before the grands arrived, Hubby’s trigeminal nerve pain flared-up.  He has lived with this condition for more than five years and the pain usually resolves on its own. But, in the last six months he has undergone several outpatient surgical procedures with only temporary relief.

Hubby’s severe pain flare-up was the “weak spot” in my family planned activities during this “blogging hiatus”.

Self-Trust

Rather than push the panic button when my “hiatus plans” hit a “weak spot”, I went to a space of stillness, quiet, and mindful breathing.  In silence, Self-Trust emerged and I was able to re-direct and focus on creating a new plan, which gave me the Self-Confidence to:

  • Stretch – I went outside of my comfort-zone to overcome a long-time fear of driving on two-lane highways, tollways and interstate highways. When faced with the choice whether to disappoint our granddaughters or overcome my fears, it was a no-brainer.  The granddaughters left eleven days ago and since that time I drive, solo, all over the City of Orlando and its suburbs.  Getting to places where I like to go, without bugging Hubby, and enjoying every moment of this newfound freedom.
  • Let Go of the planned mini-vacation until Hubby’s pain condition is under control.  Instead, I spent time reading, exploring, learning and relaxing.

Blogging Hiatus Experience

Through this “blogging hiatus experience”, Self-Trust emerged and strengthened my:

  • Self-Esteem to step outside of my comfort zone;
  • Inner Strength to move beyond the “weak spots” that cross my path; and
  • Self-Confidence to rely on my “inner voice.”

 

 

 

Writing 201 – Poetry

Assignment

“Today’s word is trust write a poem in which you address, reflect on, or tell a story about the feeling of trusting or being trusted by another (person, animal, object, potted plant…).  Or about distrusting them (or not being trusted yourself).”

Bright sunny morning, yesterday.

Rested great the evening before.

Even positive of outcome today.

After five years, no recurrence.

Satisfied mammogram clear and okay.

Trust broken image not clear today.

Sadly, breasts may not be okay!

Prompted by a suggestion from fellow blogger, Karuna, to participate in Writing 201-Poetry, I printed down Day 3’s Assignment this morning.

First, “what the heck is meant by acrostic“?  Googled and found the answer and said to Hubby, “Oh I did something like that, and didn’t even know it, shortly after Chelsea was born.”

Chelsea Yvonne is our 23-year-old granddaughter.

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I was so overjoyed with the birth of this beautiful new baby, with my name and birthday, that I created what I thought, at the time, was a poetic Welcome New Baby Card:

Cuddly

Huggable

Enchanting

Lovable

Sweetheart

Embraced, and

Adored

This stab at poetry twenty-three years ago as well as this assignment today are my poetic words written from the heart.

Sharing a Memory: Thanksgiving 2014

Hubby and I returned to Wisconsin to spend Thanksgiving with the kids, grands, relatives and friends this past year.  Since we decided to go at the last-minute one, our airline ticket prices were over the top.  (Side Bar Correction: The decision was mine and I bugged Hubby until he agreed.). 

Why I Bugged Hubby

For years, we postponed visiting Hubby’s last remaining Aunt even though, by car, she lived six hours away from our home in Wisconsin.  I remember reasons like “not enough time” or “maybe next year.”

Sadly, she passed away the first week in November.  There was “enough time” and we couldn’t wait until “maybe next year” to attend her funeral and show our respect.

It was an up-front and up-in-my-face reality moment. Our tomorrows with loved ones are not promised.  And, nothing short of my death was going to prevent me from spending Thanksgiving with the children and grands.

It was a short visit with a lot packed into three days, but I am grateful for the many precious memories including this one about my Little Girls.

The youngest members of our families are oftentimes the funniest.  And, these two were in hot water for their shenanigans during the after Thanksgiving Family Gathering.

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Cupcake (Black Dress) – Lyric (Plaid Shirt)

Our 6-year-old granddaughter, Cupcake, and great-granddaughter, Lyric, 7-years-old proudly announced to all that they were putting on a play later in the evening.  Everyone purchased a ticket.  The two girls disappeared; and, we all assumed they were pulling things together.  When the girls came downstairs a bit later, they started to play a board game, and the play was soon forgotten by all.

Several hours later, the Eldest Daughter answered the phone and the caller said, “Someone telephoned 911 from this telephone is everything okay?”  She assured the dispatcher all was well and said, “I can’t imagine what happened.”

My son decided to ask the girls and Cupcake admitted making the call.  He explained to her that 911 calls were for emergencies only.  She quickly said, “This was an emergency Lyric stole my money.”   Lyric piped up with “I deserved more money because I am older.”

Aunts, cousins, uncles, dad, friends, etc., all took turns sharing examples with the girls of the right and wrong times to call the 911 emergency number.

The money collected was equally split between the two girls with the promise they would put the play on at our family’s July 4th Celebration.

Once everything settled down with the girls, the party activities continued. Then, the doorbell ring, a police officer came down the steps and entered the lower level.  Cupcake looked up from her card game, saw the police officer, and quickly ducked behind the ottoman.

Her dad called her out of hiding.  And, she meekly stood before the officer as he calmly explained to both girls that 911 calls were for emergencies only.

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Cam’ron (Play Grandson) – Police Officer

Something positive came out of this 911 incident.  After all the negative publicity about policemen and their negative relationship with the African-American community, it was good for our teenage family members to witness a police officer interacting with these two little girls as well as our entire family in a kind, professional, and respectful way.

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L-R: Avi, Tianna, Cupcake, Taeja, Lyric and Chelsea

 

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L-R: Cameron, Kertagje, George, Kaleef

 

 

 

 

Freedom Friday – November 7, 2014

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The outcome of the 2014 mid-term election is disappointing.  But, acceptance and awareness tells me not to dwell on the past.

So, today, I choose to live in the present moment with a smile.

My youngest granddaughter, Cupcake, always brings happiness and joy into my space.  Regrettably, she lives two thousand miles away. However, when I pull up her photos on my computer screen:

I Smile.

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I, Even, Laugh Out Loud

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Gratitude Sunday – September 7, 2014

For almost five years, I have lived 2000 miles away from my children and grandchildren.  While I love spending this season of my life in Florida with Hubby, I miss the times our family came together to support one another.

Yesterday was one of those times.  It was the first soccer game of the season for our youngest granddaughter, Cupcake.

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I am grateful to her cousin, CJ, our family’s “soccer superstar,” and the other family members who came out to support Cupcake.

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Also, I am grateful to my son (Cupcake’s father) and youngest daughter (CJs mother) for the photos and their blow-by-blow report on the game.  Cupcake scored a goal, WHOOPEE!!

Gratitude Sunday – August 31, 2014

My First Rocking Chair

Today, I am grateful for gifting me — my first rocking chair.

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My First Rocking Chair

I visited my grandparents, as a child, every summer in Mississippi.  On their front porch, sat four rocking chairs.  One, reserved for my Grandfather; and, the other three were on a first come-first rock basis.  I liked to read and listen to the sounds made by the rocker as I rocked on the wooden floor.

Love of the rocking chair resurfaced in my mid-fifties.  While I didn’t buy a rocking chair, I couldn’t bypass a rocking chair at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant, furniture store, or an airport without sitting down and enjoying a rock or two.

For the past five years, I enjoyed rocking for seven straight days in rocking chairs on the front porch of the house we rent for our Mother-Daughter Vacations in Martha Vineyards

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Eldest Daughter in Rocking Chair at Martha’s Vineyard

There are only two rocking chairs on the front porch in Martha’s Vineyard.  Both daughters enjoy the rocking chairs, but when I am present —  one rocking chair is for Mama.   Like, my grandfather, I appreciate my rocking chair privilege.  I view it as one of the many gifts of love from my daughters.

After returning from vacation this year, I didn’t want to wait another year to rock in the chairs at the rental house in Martha’s Vineyard or the rocking chairs at the Boston Airport.

Also, I didn’t want to rely on random rocks in public places for the next year.  So, I gifted ME a rocking chair for reading and relaxing throughout the year.

Since I was not able to find a rocking chair locally to coordinate with the furniture on our lanai, I ordered one through the internet.   It’s perfect.  All I need to find is a seat cushion.

I can’t close this post without expressing gratitude to Hubby for assembling my rocking chair.  (Side Note — Maybe, after reading this, he will assemble my new potting table delivered this past week and is still boxed up in the foyer.)

Most of all, I am grateful to God for his unconditional love, which has opened my life up to experiencing self-love.

August 2014: Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard

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Chronic Pain flare-up

Despite the fact that weeks before this scheduled trip, I was dealing with a pain flare-up in the right knee; I was going on the annual Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

I have struggled with chronic pain since 1993 related to diagnosed conditions of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyaglia.  Over the years, I developed various self-management tools to control the pain levels.  However, my bone-on-bone knee pain needed either an injection or surgery.  And, neither was available before this vacation.

Since there was nothing I could do to make the “Pain Go Away”, my only option was to “Grin and Bare It” 

Wheelchair Transport Through the Airports

Since Hubby was not going, he ordered a wheelchair to transport me through the Orlando Airport.  This is a long walk through one terminal, a short train ride, and a longer walk through a second terminal.  Trust me the need for a wheelchair was the topic of more than one discussion in the days leading up to my departure.   Finally, I gave in.

My son picked me up at the Milwaukee Airport and we were off to meet-up with the daughters.  After the traditional hugs and kisses, they said, “Mama, you are limping.”  While the limp was noticeable, I am certain Hubby had telephoned with his concerns.

After discussing the pros and my cons of a wheelchair; I lost and they ordered one for the next leg of my trip.

When I arrived in Milwaukee, I was an “Unhappy Wheelchair Traveler”;  but, I left as the “Grumpy Wheelchair Traveler” as my 14-year-old grandson pushed me through the Milwaukee and Boston Airports.

Was it not just a few years ago that he depended on me to push him around in his stroller?  I was not ready for this.

Having someone push me around in a wheelchair was not a pleasant experience; and, I felt —

  • Stressed
  • Powerless
  • Depressed
  • Angry
  • Embarrassed

The Airline Flight

On the airplane and seated comfortably; I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and let go of the negativity.

Through Self-Talk, Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance; I embraced and accepted the gift of wheelchair transports from my hubby, son, two daughters and grandson.

No longer did I feel —

  • Stressed, I enjoyed Relaxing
  • Powerless, I gained Power
  • Depressed, I discovered Peace
  • Angry, I achieved Happiness
  • Embarrassed,  I reflected Pride

 A Few of My Favorite Mother-Daughter Vacation Photos – 2014

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The 14-Year-Old Grandson, CJ with His Friend – Lunch on the Ferry
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The Ferry Deck
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First Night. First Order of Business – Glass of Wine
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My Play Daughter from Another Mother, My Youngest Daughter, and Their Two Boys Playing Monopoly on a Rainy Day
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The Moms Won
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Could This Be The Reason The Moms Won At Monopoly? IPhones, IPADS, Laptops, X-Boxes, etc.? I’m Just Saying!!
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Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff
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Oak Bluff Pier
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Love The Old Vintage Homes on Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff – Facing the Atlantic Ocean
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Lunch on The Upper Deck of Nancy’s Seafood with Grandson, Two of His Friends and the Daughters
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Surprise from The Daughters – My Favorite Appetizer Before the Crab Leg, Lobster and Shrimp Boil
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The Grandson CJ – Adding Crab Legs to the Boil
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It’s Crab Boil Night – Because CJ Hates Seafood, He Had A Burrito. His Friend Enjoyed the Crab Let Boil and the Burrito.
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Relaxing and Sitting on The Oak Bluff Pier
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Look Up In The Sky – Air Force Helicopters Flying Over Prior to The President’s Vacation Visit in The Next Several Days.
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Beautiful Sunset View Sitting on The Front Porch
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Last Night. Busy Week. Grandson Massaging Mom’s Feet. He Is Special!!!
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Goodbye Rental House – See You In August 2015