Author Archives: summertimewanderer

A quickie, Feb 14, 2016

I wasn’t going to bother getting this done.  I am trying to get so much taken care of right away…but I received encouragement to at least this won’t be awesome..but will try..

10) Just got a call from my dear son.  This is the one that  has struggled so much.  He just wanted to say Happy Valentines Day..and he let me know that some valentine day card I sent when he was in College really meant a lot to him.  It is so funny, isn’t it..something I don’t remember, and didn’t seem like much, meant a lot. You just never know.

9) We leave tomorrow on our vacation.  I am nervous about the whole trip and I am looking more forward to getting home, than being on the trip.  I must remember to be more Thankful.

8)Listened to an amazing sermon this morning.  Our church is going through the process of looking for a new head pastor.  We are being led by a church group of people. Luckily for us, one of the people is Dr. Ken Blanchard, who wrote a famous book called The One Minute Manage and another book called Lead like Jesus.  I am sure he wrote lots of other things too, but this mornings sermon was given by him, and it did speak to me.

7) We are making plans to go see my daughter and granddaughter in April  Now that is a trip I will look forward to.

6)One of my diet foods is a little piece of gingerbread.  Ok, so not real gingerbread..but close enough, and I can put non-fat topping on it. Makes for something good to eat when hungry !

5)I have a new neighbor that built a really horrendous wall in his front yard.  I was so upset, I could hardly see straight.  He stopped by to talk and I told him how upset I was.  He is adjusting the wall. I no longer feel like I have a prison wall in front of my house.

4)My dear husband is trying to fix so many little things around here.  I get frustrated with the amount of stuff that needs to be fixed, but at least some things are getting done.

3) Laundry is done.

2) Most of the bills are caught up.

1)Mostly things are good.  I keep waiting for the next terrible thing to happen. Seems like we haven’t had a period in ten years when there wasn’t some calamity happening.  Keeping my fingers crossed and trying to enjoy the moment.


What happened to January?

Yes, here it is February.  Where was January?  Lost in a fog? Sleepy after Christmas?  I have no excuse. I just didn’t make it here for the entire month of January.  I didn’t read hardly anything, didn’t write, didn’t do much of anything, I don’t think !   Things right now just seem so busy, and I am not getting done the things I need to do.  I do spend too much time unfocused, too much time worrying about things, and not enough time getting things done.  I am starting slowly to get myself more focused and with more lists made, more done, hopefully. This TTOT will include things from the last month.  It will be short and (hopefully) sweet, but it WILL get done.  It is sort of like not exercising.  I haven’t done that for awhile either, and need to start up.  I know I am not where I was, and I need to get going, but it will be slow at first.

  1. Oh yes. Isn’t the weather always something that has such a great effect on us.  We have had our share of rain, and that is good.  However, the news reports are that for our area of the country, our supply is now full and they are having to dump some water. So enough is enough and I am happy to see the sun shining this morning,     and a little warmer temperatures.  Always makes you feel better.

2. I had a friend show up in January.  She is someone I met online, through a mutual health issue we deal with.  She lives in Oregon, but came to California to deal with an ill relative.  She was busy, and I was busy, but we managed to take a little walk on the beach.  It is one of those reminders that I could manage to fit in a little more fun like that once in awhile, but I don’t.  I need to do that, but I will be thankful for the nice day we had. nancy mills jan 18 2016 008

3.  We went to the car show.  I can’t afford the new cars, but it is fun to look.  They have everything there from old restored cars to brand new.  They even have cars that have been in movies, such as the scooby-do car and the Herbie the lovebug car. They are fun to see.  You can also drive all kinds of cars.  The longest lines naturally are the ones with the big engines. It was fun to try some out.  I even got to try out having the car parallel park all by itself.  I pride myself on my ability to parallel park, however this was truly amazing. With cars starting to drive themselves, I hope this will be helpful to people that need transportation, but really cannot drive anymore.


4.  My new vice.  Oh, it is not good for me.  It is caramel kettle corn. There is a new guy at the farmer’s market selling it.  I buy it on Sat., and it lasts until Monday night. But it is so addicting. And so so good.nancy mills jan 18 2016 003

5.Well, here is a strange ttot.  I wrote a note about this last week.  I have been after my husband to fix the patio cover.  Now you have to understand that in my part of the country, most people have patio covers that are simply little slats that filter out the light.  A few years back, my husband built a new one.  It was so nice, but had somewhat clear panels that let the light in and kept out the rain.  It had become broken and needed fixing. I have been on him to repair it forever.  He had continually told me it wasn’t that easy. Finally, he got around to it, with some really nice clear panels.  We knew there would be a major rain storm coming, and I was so glad the patio furniture would not get wet.   Well, the rains not only came, but they did much damage to our town. Trees all over town were blown over.  One person in her car, was killed by a falling tree.  The wind came along and ripped the new cover off of the patio.  Now, who knows how long it will be for my husband to get around to fixing it again.  I am very thankful no one was injured it the blowing down of the patio cover.  It was pretty amazing though.  I was sitting here and with one quick whoosh, it was up and off.  Nature is pretty darn amazing.

6. When my husband was working, he did a lot of traveling.  He piled up “points” on cards, but we haven’t used them.  The company was threatening to eliminate them, if we didn’t use them.  My husband has scheduled us to take a last minute cruise using some of these points.  Now, I am not at all excited about this.  I have a complete negative attitude about it all.  I figure my husband will be seasick.  I don’t know why he wants to do this, as he gets seasick easily, but I am sure it is because so many people have told him this is wonderful and he should do it.  We don’t drink alcohol and I have been dieting and trying to keep my weight down for the last few years, so I am not looking forward to tons of temptations.  I ask people what they do on a cruise and mostly it seems they go to drink and eat.  I am not sure what we will do.  I am worried about leaving my parents who are not doing well, and yes, I know they have not been doing well for a long time, and they will probably be not doing well for a long time more, but it doesn’t seem like a good time to leave.  I am trying to be thankful for this trip, but it isn’t easy.  What a “first world” problem that is to have.  With starving people in the world, and illness, I am terrible for not wanting to take this trip.  I know I over think the problems, and don’t look forward to things and then later, I am glad we did them, but right now the thankfulness is hard to think about….I am working on it. Oh yes, and the “free” trip is now costing more than I wanted to spend. Seems like we could only use so many points, then there was a little charge here and there.  It has all added up to quite a lot.  Wow, how is that for unthankful thankfulness !

7.  The one trip I am looking forward to, will come in April.  I am excited about this one.  It is on land, and I could fly back in an instant if needed.  We are planning on going up to see my granddaughter and daughter and my mother-in-law.  Now that is a trip I can be thankful for. It hasn’t happened yet, but just thinking about it makes me happy.  I wish I could inundate you all with baby videos.  She is adorable.

8. And speaking of that adorable baby.  I am so very thankful for Skype. I am sure I have mentioned that before, but since I got to see the baby starting to crawl, I think I get to use it again!

9.  My son that has had so many problems in his life, continues to do well at his new job. He is getting along with the people at the business and for that I am so thankful.  I really appreciate that they are training him to do this work.  For so long, companies would insist you have years of experience.  Now they are a little more willing to take someone without experience and train them and accept they might make mistakes. I feel a little like someone with PTSD, waiting for a terrible thing to happen, and for him to get fired. So far so good.  Now if I could just relax and assume things will be fine.

10. I just got back from a visit with mom and dad.  Dad was agitated and constantly picking at his blankets.  It was exhausting.  I am thankful I can leave and come home. I am so thankful we have the money for this place.  It certainly is not as wonderful as I would like it to be, but dad is not what I would like him to be either.  It is what it is. But at least I don’t have to do it 24 hours a day.




Looking forward Jan 9th 2016

rain Oct. 4 2015 001


Last week, I took the time to look back over 2015.  It was fun to see what had happened in pictures.  Looking forward becomes much more of a challenge.  Things never seem to go the way we wanted.  I have a long list of things that need to be put into better shape:  financials, physical, and I am sure emotionally. We all seem to have ideas of what we want to do. We make plans.  And then we find blocks to our getting there.

This week was a perfect example. We had plans to get rid of my son’s car. Well, it isn’t really a car, if you have followed my blog, but it is a shell of a car.  We thought we had all the paperwork we needed.  My husband had gone to the DMV several times.  They assured him, he had everything he needed.  Now we just need to get together with the buyer.  My husband and the buyer went to the DMV today, and no, we did not have all the paperwork we needed. So we are back to square one. We have to get a hold of our out-of-town son.  We have to get him to get forms, sign them and get them to us.  Meanwhile the car sits outside.  It looks terrible and we need to get it off the street. It is a stress we do not need.  We feel like this is a never ending problem.  I know somehow it will end.  I cannot wait.

This car problem, does remind me of thankfulness however.  I see a problem.  I should be grateful that  we have a car to sell.  I should be grateful that we have someone that wants the car. I should be grateful that the car was a wonderful experience for my son and my husband to experience.  Now it just seems like a weight around my neck.

mustang for sale nov 30 2015 005

One of my goals this year was to make my husband take me out to dinner once a week.  I am not sure if that seems like a lot or a little to most, but since we almost never go out to eat, for us that is a lot.  So far, the first week, we didn’t make it out.  I did also, have a goal to take off my “Christmas weight” and so with dieting, my goal of losing the weight outweighed the goal of eating out.  I will find out tomorrow, if I met the first goal, but I am pretty sure I am, at least, close. Maybe then, I can put in a goal of doing more fun things like eating out. So, now I see that goals have to come in order.

I do have several things I can list as Thankfulness this week.

10) Dad has been in and out of the hospital this week.  My caregiver did think that on Tuesday, that he was going to pass, as they could not get him to wake up.  They took him to the hospital, and he woke up and was fine.  The last three days he has been great, and even ate in the dining room today.  There is lots there to be grateful for.

9) My job has been busy this week.  I am grateful to have it.  There is much left to be desired about it, and I am trying to see if I can make some changes. So far this week, I have procrastinated about checking into things, and I need to put that on my to do list.

8) I am so grateful for fb and technology that sends me daily pictures of my granddaughter.  She is so cute and makes me smile daily.

7) I have much paperwork to do about health care, but I am so grateful that I will be able to afford it. There is a lot I could discuss there, but will leave it at that.

6) I am excited and grateful to head to the farmers market tomorrow.  I will pick up my local made honey, and have a nice crepe.  That will be AFTER I check into my diet place !

5) My husband will be very busy tomorrow, as will I, but I am hopeful to have some quiet time to myself to get some things done, including bill paying. Not a fun time, but it is weighing on me to get it done.

4) We had some incredibly hard rain this past week.  It was at times rather scary.  I am so grateful that we didn’t have any damage to our house or to the shell of the car outside, other than added rust.

3) I am grateful that the guy still wants to buy the car even though it has been sitting outside getting rusty for the last month and a half.

2) And I am grateful that the city got some much needed rain.  Having it not come all in short periods of time would have been preferable, however, it is much needed.  Now it will hopefully go back up north and we can just get it when it melts from the mountains in the spring.

1)I am grateful to have a new year to look forward to. I look with some trepidation, hoping not to fall into the traps I have for the last year. I hope to make some changes, even if they come more slowly than I want.  It is a hard balancing act, taking care of yourself and taking care of others. Now for a reminder to get some rest and not try to do it all in one day.  (My granddaughter was playing, determined not to go to sleep, and just fell asleep sitting up!)12494122_10208980455415445_1088111305_o



Dec 31, 2105 The year of the Baby..or out with the old and in with the new.

I started blogging in the summer of 2015.  It was just a little experiment to see what it was like.  I was always so impressed my friend’s blogs. I wondered if I could do that.  The first couple of posts were OK, then my friend suggested trying the Ten Things of Thankfulness posts. Being willing to try new things, I gave it a try.  I was prepared for the usual internet rantings of negativity, and was amazed to find a caring and welcoming new community.  I do have to say, that I find myself somewhat challenged to not just post a diary, but to find a theme, or something that I really want to say.  Most of the time, however, it does become a diary.  With that said, I came down to the last post of the year.  Should I do a rewind of the years events?  Should I find a theme?  Should I look forward to a new year while looking back?  I figured the best way to look over the year was through pictures.   The theme of the year that stood out was the addition of the new baby in the family.  Being a first time grandmother, it is not hard to come up with pictures to fill the entire page, but I do want to think about how I have changed over the year, along with the arrival of the baby.  I do know that the arrival of this baby has led to many changes, but also the illness that has been the life of my parents, has seen many changes there. The new sobriety of my husband and son has brought enormous change.  First, lets do a look back.

January found us visiting relatives with a very pregnant daughter and her boyfriend.  It was cold outside but warm in the kitchen, next to the fire and the kitty.

February was quiet, but March brought on sunshine and a baby shower.

Tracy's baby shower 010

April was a month of dealing with problems my son had created.  There were phone calls back and forth, until we realized we had to at least deal with one issue.  We needed to take his car away from him.  We told him that if he could be more responsible, he could get it back.  He was very appreciative of how we had let him have this car since college, and wrote a long ode to the car.  It had been through thick and thin with him.  It was on its way to where it would be taken care of. I never got a picture of the sad state the car and my son were in, but at least I was able to clean up the car. Now if only I could clean up my son as easily.

cleaning up 001

May heralded the arrival of THE BABY !  We had a few days before she was born to just enjoy being with my daughter.  We did walk around the local street fair, which is perhaps the lamest street fair in the country, but it does manage to happen every May.


And then SHE arrived.  And everything changed.Kayla Jean Aterno 001

June brought on fathers day, and the last time we were able to take my dad out to eat. But they did get to meet their first great grandchild.

fathers day 2015 Bernardo Heights CC 001kayla and her great grandmother 002

July brought on the move of the great grandparents to a facility and the dreaded visit from the sisters.  Having been criticized over anything I do, I was not looking forward to this. The move, and visits were challenges to get through. Of course there were the funny stories of having to change out mom’s bed to a smaller bed, and having to do it in the only rain storm to hit Southern California in about four years.

rain Oct. 4 2015 001

With someone to watch over mom and dad, we managed to make August a time to get away and see a son up in Seattle. It was wonderful to find time to reconnect and get to know his new girlfriend and her dog, plus be a little helpful with some home improvement projects.  This naturally, did lead to the horrific story of the paint can exploding in the rented truck and trying to cover up the damage with more paint.  We also were able to visit with some more relatives in Oregon.

The end of summer meant it was time to get back to work.  Having lost some close friends in the last few years, I have made it a goal to find some new friends, and new activities that might broaden my life.  One new friend got me to go out in search of the best coffee in town.  I appreciate her efforts, as I know I am not one to simply pick up and start something new. This has been a real challenge for me the last couple of years.  Life is changing, and trying to change with it, has not always been easy.  The end of summer also brought along some time to just enjoy being with my granddaughter, even when she did not want to nap.

September brought great hope with news that my son had decided to get sober.  Having dealt with this issue with him for 15 years, I am not new to this, but this came from his decision, although I am sure brought on by pressure of girlfriends and friends and us, but this was a good sign.  I had hope again.

In October, getting sober meant that my son lost his job.  He had a small job, and when he had to miss work to get sober, his boss fired him.  I think there were other circumstances, but that was the way it turned out.  It wasn’t a great job, but it was a job and now the worry about what he would do.  However, the best part of losing his job, was that he now had time to come for a visit and to meet his niece. He is a lover of animals and babies, and I knew this baby would melt his heart. I also knew that my daughter wished for a closer relationship with her brother, and it was a time for them to reconnect.

I knew this day was coming.  My daughter had talked about it forever.  She wanted to move to Oregon.  She, and her boyfriend, and her baby went up to look for jobs, and found one.  November meant trying to spend special time with them before they moved.  It was sad and happy.  There is nothing most parents don’t wish for more than to see their kids happily living the life they want, and that made us very happy to see, but it also meant that the time with our granddaughter would be ending.  We tried to make the most of what time we had: trips to the Zoo, the Wild Animal and the Farmers Market. She liked the pictures of the animals on the signs, more than the animals themselves, but it wasn’t about the animals.  It was about time together.  Little things, but they were wonderful moments in the year. It was time to sit back and truly be Thankful for all that had happened this year.


Now that the kids have moved on, it is time for us to clean up the clutter and get rid of the things the kids have left behind.  This meant a trip down for the oldest son, to try and pick up a few things he had left behind, including a car shell that would be his project car.  Since he has moved on, he has also found two other project cars, but this was his first one, and one he had dreamed of finishing. This did not go according to plan.  The plan was to come down, enjoy Thanksgiving, and get things ready to take back. The first part of the plan was going along smoothly, and we even found time to enjoy a night out at a nice place.  We should have known, however that plans were starting to go awry.  We were hoping to eat out on the patio of the restaurant, when it started raining hard.  The next morning they were off with the car shell in tow.

About ten hours later, after a long day of being stuck in East Los Angeles, they were back.  They were minus one old wheel and tire, and plus one new wheel and tire.  The car was not to be towed, and we realized it was time to let go of the past.  The car went up for sale, and was sold in one day. However, getting the paperwork done has taken the rest of the month, and here it still sits, hopefully to be picked up in the new year. mustang for sale nov 30 2015 005

December brought some wonderful news.  My son that had gotten sober, and lost his job had a new and wonderful job.  It was to be a job learning welding.  It paid more money per hour than he had ever earned.  It was what we called a real grown up job.  It had really long hours, with decent pay, and health insurance, and retirement.  It was a union job, with union protection from unreasonable requirements.  They were willing to give him training.  The first week, they told him he was too smart for this job, and decided to give him a new position learning to run the computers, and they gave him a raise.  He said for the first time in his life, he felt that people had respect for what he was able to do.  He came and got his car back, and got some new steel toed shoes, and was ready to start working.

Now it is time for us to start a new life.  The kids are gone, and so is most of their stuff.  We started some new things.  My husband has started playing tennis and golf.  We started doing some volunteer ushering at the Old Globe theater.  This means that we also get to see the play for free.  Our first play was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  We went for a walk at the nighttime Zoo event, enjoying a stop at the lovely indoor restaurant in the zoo.


It is time to start thinking about the future.  I know my husband and I don’t see it the same way.  As of yesterday, we have been married 43 years.  How we step into this new part of our lives will be interesting.  I know there will be changes.  I am not sure what will happen next. It is time to bring on 2016 and see what happens.  I somehow think it will be a crazy adventure.

Dec 19, 2015

Last week was a week of exultation.  Every thing was good in my world.  I couldn’t keep from smiling.  It really is true that family is so important, and when the family is doing well, all is well with the world.  But could it last?  It is hard to say.  I am still feeling hopeful that it is on a good path, but I am sure there will be bumps.

For this weeks TTOT, I cannot help but start with my granddaughter.  I do miss her terribly, but I know she is well, in spite of a record rainfall in Oregon.  Mudslides, flooding and strange events are filling their world, and yet the pictures are beautiful, and my granddaughter is experiencing her first Christmas.


Both sons and daughter seem to be doing well.  Haven’t heard much from son #1 other than they have been busy.  He has to get some paperwork to us, so we can get rid of this car of his, and it is taking more time than it should..but hopefully it will be gone next week.

Dear Son #2 started his job.  They were impressed with his ability and promoted him the first week with a pay raise.  He, however, is not use to working 10 hour days, and when I talked to him on Thursday, he sounded exhausted.  He said he had only slept a few hours this week.  This is the kind of thing I worry about.  He doesn’t really get that you HAVE to get to bed and get some sleep, and be disciplined and get your lunch made the night before.  It is things most people take for granted, but he has had difficulties in the past, and this part of it could be his downfall.  I will keep my prayers going that they are patient with him and teach him what to do.

My daughter messaged me, but apparently her phone has been out.  That happens when the money is gone.  I know they are struggling, but I need to let them struggle.  I have helped much in the past, but it is time to let go and let them deal with it.  They will do it, but it won’t be easy. They are together and happy, so that is enough to be grateful for.

I got through a week of working at a middle school. Normally, it wouldn’t seem like much of a thankful, but the week before winter break is full of tests, papers and parties.  This can set off the kids that I work with.  We seemed to get through it all.  I gave my student three pencils one day and the next day he had none.  That is typical.  So grateful for the break.

I ate myself sick this past week at work.  I am grateful that I only gained about two pounds.  I feel like I never want to eat again, and yet today somehow I managed to down a goodie. Well, next week, will be the diet time !

My parents are doing ok.  Dad was in the hospital again last week trying to get rid of an infection with antibiotics.  He does seem better than before, but it is a process.

Mom had a good time this week, with Christmas parties at the facilities.  I guess the party in the memory care section, was nice, but my caregiver, said the one for the assisted living was even nicer.  I do wish they would include people like my mom that are not a real problem upstairs with the others, but at least she had some nice times.  Sad she doesn’t remember them.   But I am grateful that she is being watched and is doing ok.

The facility she is in managed to get mom a new lift chair.  It is really nice with heat and massage in the chair.  I think it will be so good for her.  It will take someone from the facility turning the heat and massage on, as she won’t remember how to do it, but at least it is there.

I was going to mention, that with all my excitement this past week, I did have some guilt feelings.  I know I was feeling like things were going so well for us, and yet there are so many in the world in such need.  This goes from refugees far away to local events of homelessness and hopelessness.  I know I have little effect on the events of the world, but I am extremely grateful for the good things happening in my world.

Walking on Sunshine Dec. 11 2015

There are days that finding gratitude is difficult, and days that seem like there is plenty, but it just doesn’t feel like it is all THAT great.  Today is a day I am walking on Sunshine…excited, hopeful, grateful and in an amazing place, and I keep singing this song….  

Hopefully that will be Walking on Sunshine by Belinda Carlisle .

A few years ago during a Christmas eve service, the minister said that we needed to pray for the unimaginable.  He was saying that miracles happen all the time.  What was it that we wanted?  Put it in God’s hands.  I thought.  My life seemed to be such a mess.  I just prayed that God would put his hand in it and bring my family to a better place.  Today, I feel like so much has happened, it is hard to imagine that all this would have happened.

My number one son, has a good job, a girlfriend, and at least a couple of car projects he loves.  He is getting rid of the first project car, but he is dealing with that well.  All in all, he is happy.  I can’t say everything is perfect, but it is a work in progress, and he is headed in the right direction.

My second son, called yesterday.  He has a job and starts on Monday.  This isn’t just another in a string of crummy jobs.  This is a union job training to be a welder.  It comes with a livable wage and benefits. This is a kid that has struggled for the last 15 years.  This is seeing him sober and with a real future.  There is so much hope and joy with this news.  I cannot even begin to tell you how this has made my heart soar. 12096451_10208406598669385_772342446558695083_n  jeff visit Oct. 8th 2015 005

My daughter is in Oregon.  They are starting out a struggling young family.  They have been hit with torrential rains this week.  But I love seeing them so very very happy.

This week I managed to set up skype on one computer, so we can talk with my daughter and the baby.  It is really an amazing thing…this technology that can make us seem not so far away.  My granddaughter was all smiles as she saw me on the computer.


My daughter said she put the little white beard under her chin, and Kayla put it over her mouth.   I swear she knew this was funny, and did this on purpose !

My son, that just got the job, has hopped a train and will be down here at midnight.  I will pick him up from the train, and tomorrow, we will get some things done that he needs to do before starting this job.  He will leave early Sunday morning, so it will be a quick visit.  When asked what he wanted to eat Sat. night, he said…oh..mashed potatoes and creamed hamburger.  How easy is that !

I am making him some goodies to take home.  A few cookies and banana bread.  How I enjoy cooking for him, as I know he will enjoy it.

My husband was sharing at his AA meeting about he son, and the son getting sober in Sept. and struggling, and how this is turning out so well, and so many people came up to him and thanked him for sharing.  There are lots of people out there struggling, and we will probably have good days and bad days.  This is a good day.

I got to leave work early today, so that I could start my baking !  How can I not be grateful for that !

I have been struggling and struggling trying to get hospice to put my dad back on a medication that I thought would help him, as it has helped him in the past.  They wouldn’t do it.  They basically gave two reasons.  One, they felt it was his time to pass, and they were not there to do anything else.  I kept saying that it was not, because I have seen this situation before, but they wouldn’t do anything.  They also said they felt his blood pressure was too high, and they wouldn’t give him this medication, because they felt it would give him a heart attack.  Well, this is strange, because the medicine might also help him get well, and if it did give him a heart attack, them this would be over anyway, and not dragged out.  Anyway, I got rid of hospice and asked for the doctor at the facility.  He agreed that my dad could go on low dose of the medicine.  With one dose today, my dad sat up and ate his lunch and then commented on something that no one thought he would remember.  Yes, I feel vindicated.

I think that is more than ten things.  But that is how this week is..and yes, I am walking on Sunshine today…and don’t it feel good !!!  I will enjoy the moment.  If all this falls apart and nothing is good tomorrow, I had this day.



Where do I start? Dec 4th 2015

There is so much going on, taking me in so many directions, that it seems hard to know where to start.  I did miss a week, so I should have to do 20 things, but I will try to do the 10. Like I said, I can’t keep my mind going in one direction, so I do expect this to be all over the place.

My oldest son came down from Seattle with his girlfriend for Thanksgiving and to pick up his shell of a car.  He has more car projects than he needs, but I will get back to that story later.  It was good to have them down.  We stopped by to see my parents, and it was a fairly good day.

Thanksgiving Nov 26 2015 002

Then it was on to the Thanksgiving feast.  It went better than I thought, with plenty of good food, and a nice time with the son and girlfriend. It is nice to spend time with them as adults. dinner Nov 26 2015 001

The girlfriend has some serious medical conditions, and I was worried that she would be sick, but she seemed to enjoy her time here.  My son spent so much time showing her old photo albums and all things that were from where he grew up.  He also tried to clean up a few things around. So glad the time went well for her.  She was missing her puppy and her family, but all in all, I think she did well.

The next step was for my son to get a way for him to tow his shell of a car back to Seattle.  He insisted that his car was strong enough to tow it up there.  I raised my doubts, but he thought it would work.  Now, when would a young man listen to his mother on the matter of automobiles, of which he is an expert.  I was being very thankful to see the shell going away.  This was a project that he started in high school, but between college and moving and working, the car had sat in our garage for much too long.

Ryan and Tiffany Nov 27, 2015 002

Then time for one more dinner out.  We headed for a really nice place down in Balboa Park.  We had hoped to sit out on the patio, and have a nice walk around the park, but it was rainy and cool.  I was disappointed, but we did have a lovely dinner in a very unique place.  He had requested that we all go out to eat here, so I was happy we were able to have this night together.

Ryan and Tiffany Nov 27, 2015 004

Ryan and Tiffany Nov 27, 2015 005

The next morning, my son wanted to get up at 2:30 am to get on the road, and to beat the traffic, especially through L A.  It was hard to get everything together and packed up and ready to go, but they did it, and off they went.  At this point, I am feeling grateful for a wonderful week with them, but the story isn’t over yet.

As they are leaving, my son says “I was trying to avoid traffic, and here it is at 3 am?”  And as they were pulling out of our very quiet neighborhood, here comes the EMTs, and I notice the lights are on across the street.  I figured it was the man, who has had some heart issues, in the past.  To my surprise, it was the wife.  (At this point I will jump ahead in the story).  It turns out that she has a benign brain tumor, and is having surgery as I am writing this.  Apparently, she has had it for 25 years, but it is now grown big enough to cause her balance and speech issues.  I am grateful for the doctors that know how to deal with these issues.

Later that morning, we get a call, that my son is broken down in east L.A. If you know anything about L.A., this is not an area you want to be broken down in.  Apparently a back wheel came off the car being towed, and is somewhere on the freeway.  They had to get off the freeway, with sparks coming off the car being towed, and steam coming out from the car towing.  Scary stuff.  Now, the question came of what to do.  They couldn’t very well just leave the car shell in east L.A. while looking for parts, and he has begun to wonder if he could tow this for another 18 hours up and down mountain passes.  My husband was off playing tennis, but I managed to get a hold of him, and when he came home, he figured out how to get parts, but it meant a trip to Oceanside.  By the time we figured all this out and made it happen, it was about 6 pm in L.A.  My son and girlfriend and my husband, then headed home for a two hour drive in heavy traffic, dropped the car, and took the tow lift back.  My son decided to sell the shell.  I am so very thankful that no one was injured in all of this mess.  It was an exhausting day, but so glad to have him back with us for the night.  However, that did mean a few hours of sleep, and to start this all over again, without the car shell.

The next day they headed off on the 20 hour drive.  He was suppose to be back at work at 2 pm on Monday.  The choice then became, do they drive straight through, try to make it to work, and then being so tired on the job, that you risk making a mistake that could get you fired?  Or do you try to let them know that you will be a day late, and hope they don’t fire you for not getting back at time.  He picked taking his time, driving carefully and taking the chance of missing a day of work.  We didn’t hear from them for a couple of days, and they only went a little over half way the first day.  Luckily, the company was good about letting him take the extra day without pay and not firing him for being late getting back.  I am so grateful they got back safe and sound, and that he still has a job.

My son told me to send a good picture of the car, and he would put it up on ebay for sale.  I did, and within a day it had sold for his asking price.  We still have to figure out how we get the money and get the car to the buyer. But this will not be sitting near my house much longer.

mustang for sale nov 30 2015 005

It is sad to see his dream of a project not get finished, but I am grateful to move on to other things.

There were several other things that happened this week.  I have had to deal with more health issues of my parents.  I am taking dad off of hospice, and putting him on palliative care.  I am not sure how that will work out, but so far, and I grateful for the help I have been getting and the people that helped me through some difficult meetings.  I have had a couple of afternoons off of work.  I don’t get paid if I don’t work, but I am glad for the extra time I have had.  And mostly, I am grateful for this spectacular sunset.

Dec 3 2015 sunset 001