Walking While Sleeping

And I don’t mean sleepwalking. That’s an actual condition which involves actually getting up and walking around while still sleeping. More common in children and teens, this may involve brief walks around the house, or sometimes even opening cabinets or making something to eat, then suddenly waking up disoriented and confused as to where they are.

But this isn’t what I’m referring to at all. This is something else.

Lately I’ve noticed there seem to be a lot of people walking around, going through their daily activities at work or at home, and at the same time being oblivious to what’s going on around them.

They either have no idea of what’s going on in the country, or in the world, or even sometimes, in their own immediate circle of friends and family.

They either claim they don’t have time to think about such things; they don’t want to know because it’s usually depressing or uncomfortable; or they figure why care, because they can’t do anything about what’s going on, and it isn’t affecting them anyway.

Sure, they’re tuned in to social media, but only to the point of seeing what other people are doing, where they’re going, what they’re eating, etc. World events? Can’t be bothered. Political and economic issues in the U.S.? They don’t want to know. Don’t care. It’s someone else being affected.

Or so they think. And they continue on until something happens that affects them directly, and they have no idea what caused it or what they should do about it.

We see this happening in those “man in the street” type interviews we see from time to time. People who can’t name the Vice President; don’t know the true meaning of certain laws; don’t know about the war going on in Ukraine; don’t know what the Supreme Court actually does, etc.

And these aren’t actors playing a part. They’re real people, going through their daily lives, walking around while sleeping through the world around them. Oblivious or ambivalent to events that could play a significant part in their futures. Living their lives like actors in a movie, playing a part that isn’t real.

Why is this so bad? Because if you don’t know what’s going on, or don’t care what’s going on, you’ll have no say in what goes on in your city, your state, or your country. They may think they’re happy in their own private world, until that world comes crashing down around them.

And they don’t know where to turn. Or what to do.

How do we wake them up?

Your guess is as good as mine. First of all, they have to change their attitude toward life, and that’s easier said than done. It’s easier to just say “I don’t care” and leave it at that. 

Til they are suddenly forced to care. 

And then they don’t know how to begin or what to do. Because the world is continually changing, and we need to be aware of those changes in order to know how to deal with them.

The Truth About Cataract Surgery

From a true surgical scaredy-cat “chicken”…

I’ve been told for several years (at least five) that I had cataracts and needed to get them taken care of.

I ignored those suggestions. I wasn’t ready. They weren’t that bad. But most importantly, the idea of operating on my eyes absolutely terrified me. Totally.

I’ve been very fortunate not to have had but a few surgeries in my life. Tonsils and adenoids when I was only 6, and I barely remember. Wisdom teeth out when I was 25. Several laparoscopies in my thirties when I was trying to conceive. A C-Section to have my daughter. And a broken wrist repair about 6 years ago.

For someone my age, that’s really not many. As those of you who follow this blog know, my husband has lost count of all the surgeries he’s had, including cataract removal in one diseased eye and a partial cornea transplant.

But still…I wasn’t having any part of eye surgery until absolutely necessary. And that was that!

A few years ago I even switched eye doctors to another group I liked more than where I’d been going, and as much as I really really liked this new doctor I was still totally hesitant, and told him so.

But unlike the other doctors I’d seen he told me that while the cataracts were ready to be removed, he totally understood how I felt. And when I replied that when the time came, I’d only want him to do it, his answer confirmed that he’d be the one. “I can promise you when you’re ready, if I’m still upright, I’ll do it, and you’ll be pleased!”

Actually it took me three more years to come to that conclusion. After Ben was diagnosed with the beginning stages of glaucoma.

And I knew I had to go ahead and take care of my eyesight now. Although he’s having no problems with his vision other than the glare from LED headlights at night, which are not good for anyone, I decided I needed to go ahead and get the surgery.

Plus I was starting to notice words on the computer were getting harder to read and a little fuzzy, even with my contacts. A lot of my friends were encouraging (sometimes lovingly nagging) me to do it as well.

So I reluctantly told my eye doctor at my regular annual visit I was going to do it. He told me that was a great decision, and I’d definitely be happy afterwards. So we made the pre-cataract 3-hour appointment for the end of August.

I stopped wearing my contacts August 1 because my eyes needed to adjust back to their normal shape, since contacts change the shape of your cornea somewhat. And I’d been wearing contacts for 50 years, so I’m sure mine were totally out of normal shape.

Adjusting from contacts to glasses wasn’t the easiest thing. The first two days even through the first couple of weeks were difficult. Wearing them walking down steps was tricky because they tended to distort my vision either concave or convex, and for someone like me who has vertigo off and on, it was somewhat of a challenge.

But I survived that appointment, even though I had to watch a video about the procedure, which I really didn’t want to know. Making the actual surgical appointments afterward even stressed me out! Then I had to have a retina clearance from their retina specialist prior to surgery. Since dilating my eyes takes some 12+ hours to wear off, I had to make a deal that unless they couldn’t get good pictures of my retina they wouldn’t dilate me. I won that bet!

And of course I got more apprehensive the closer surgery day got. The day before I had to start using special drops in the surgical eye, and I was nervous even putting them in, knowing why I was doing it. (I did say I was a “chicken.”) We went to bed early that Sunday night since we had to be at the surgery center at 6:30 AM.

I didn’t sleep well at all, and was obviously scared to death. I had to put a dilating drop in that eye an hour before I had to be there, and within 15 minutes it took effect. As Ben drove all I could see were colored lights that resembled fireworks. Why did I agree to this?

I was more scared as we walked into the surgery center, which was already filled with people waiting their turn. I couldn’t even bring myself to talk I was so nervous. And when they called me back I’m surprised I could even walk in a straight line.

As soon as I got back to the pre-op area I was immediately told to get on the gurney and they started hooking up the blood pressure cuff, oxygen reader, EKG patches, and even an oxygen cannula.  My blood pressure was up to 157 over something, and I had to explain it was stress. I’m normally around 113.

So far so good.

Until it was time for the IV. My seriously huge phobia. And even though I cautioned the nurse putting it in, it didn’t help. Usually once the needle is in I’m fine, but this time…evidently she did something wrong and kept playing with needle, telling me she had to “fix” it. I thought she’d never stop. (And yes it’s in my chart that she won’t do the next one!) Fortunately the anesthesiologist had already given me something to calm me down and luckily I wasn’t my normal “witchy” self which I’d normally have been.

It seemed like forever that I had to wait, laying there with my mind going in too many directions. Then it was my turn, and I was quickly wheeled into the OR. I remember seeing a large machine lowered over my eye and a metal bar placed in front of me, and the next thing I knew, I was seeing balls of colors swimming around in front of me. I didn’t feel a thing. And then the next thing I knew, the machine was gone, and I was back in the holding area; tired but surviving, and ready to get that IV out!

My doctor came in and told me I did great; the anesthesiologist was there and agreed, and as soon as I was (sort of) awake I was in a chair being wheeled out with my instructions and ready to go home.

I barely remember the ride home, but I do recall actually being able to read well enough to read a few text messages. Then we were back home where I slept for several hours, ate a little something, and went back to sleep.

I have to say the experience, except for the IV, wasn’t nearly what I’d feared. Plus the anesthesia didn’t get out of my system til the next afternoon so I did get a lot of rest, which I probably needed. (Anesthesia does that to me.)

What’s really great is that now, with only one eye done, I’m able to work on the computer without glasses! Before the surgery I was having trouble reading some of my leases and spreadsheets WITH my glasses. Colors are brighter and more vibrant, and since I make jewelry as one of my hobbies, that’s a really big deal!

I will say, for me though, one of the most difficult parts right now is that I can’t wear makeup for at least a week, and that’s tough! Thank goodness I work remotely! (And if my husband says one more time “just put on blusher and lipstick and you’ll be fine” I won’t be responsible for the outcome!)

So let me say now to any of you contemplating cataract surgery, find a doctor you totally trust, and go for it! For those of you who know me personally, you know that’s something I’d never say unless I truly meant it.

I’m even looking forward to the next eye being done so my vision will be even again, and I don’t feel like I’m halfway still looking through fog.

It’s not bad. At all. I’m glad I finally did it. Just like everyone said I would be! 

I just didn’t want to believe them,

Flamingos Need Pampering, Too

Flamingos at a spa? Impossible, I thought. What in the world would they do at a spa?

When they told me they’d booked a weekend retreat at a very exclusive and probably expensive spa a few hours away, I thought they were crazy.  And I told them so.

“Did you tell them you were a flock of flamingos?” I asked. “What kind of spa treatments can they possibly plan that you all could use?”

They just looked at me and smiled the way flamingos do when they’re up to something. Or when they have a plan they don’t want anyone to know about. 

We don’t call them feisty flamingos without good reason.

And with that, they hurried out to their waiting limo, and said, “Don’t worry about us. We have it all under control. We’ll tell you all about it when we get back!”

Well, at least my husband and I had the house and backyard to ourselves this weekend, I realized, hoping they wouldn’t get into too much trouble at the spa! But I kept my phone nearby, just in case we had to go there and bring them home.

But obviously I was concerned for no good reason, because the flamingos walked into the house Sunday night, looking relaxed, refreshed, and happy, their bright pink feathers looking softer and even seemed to be glowing a bit.

“Let us tell you all about our weekend!” they said. “It was fabulous!” And they had pictures, of course.

The limo had dropped them off at this luxurious pink (of course) spa which was nestled a few hours away in the mountains near a lake. They were shown to their suite of rooms decorated, of course, in perfect flamingo style. There were even pink fluffy bathrobes and slippers for each of them, along with welcoming gifts and baskets of herbal treatments they’d be using.

The next morning the pampering started with a special cucumber treatment for their eyes. And being flamingos, after the treatment was over, they ate the cucumbers! 

Their beaks were soothed and polished with a coconut milk treatment which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

Then it was on to the sauna. Which wasn’t their favorite thing, but they had to try it out.

After a relaxing lunch on the patio by the pool, it was time for more pampering.

This time it was a massage. They’d never had one, so they weren’t sure what to expect, and they were concerned that no one at the spa had experience in massaging flamingos. 

They were assured there were masseuses who had that experience, and actually they did, and the birds received excellent massages with lotions and potions they didn’t know existed!

After all this excitement they were relaxed but exhausted, and looking forward to relaxing on the patio with some refreshing cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Spas don’t usually provide alcohol to their guests, but they ARE flamingos, and you just can’t deprive those pink birds of their favorite refreshments. And they were certainly treated to an array of choices, even including raspberry popsicles (most likely with a touch of framboise!).

After a refreshing swim in one of the saltwater pools, they went to bed to prepare for the next day, which started with a yoga class. If you’ve never seen a flamingo doing yoga, well, here are a few pictures!

Then it was time for pedicures! The flamingos enjoyed a luxurious foot soak in a floral and citrus foot bath. And they really needed it, since they’re on their feet all the time in mud and sand as well as ocean water. In fact, the spa had prepared an extra special and extra long session, since their feet needed it so much.

They even selected special nail polish designed to last longer than regular polish. They proudly showed us their toes, and they really did look good! And of course they had designs put on each nail. They ARE flamingos, you know!

The last part of the day was having their feathers washed, conditioned, and fluffed. And I must say the spa did a great job! They even got eyelash extensions!

And they must specialize in pampering animals at this particular spa, because they took a picture of this cute little dog getting her hair done as well!

So did they have a good time? Absolutely! I think these pictures are proof!

And now they want me to go with them next time! That’s something we’ll have to discuss a bit later.

If I Were in Your Shoes

If I were in your shoes I’d sure not make the same decisions you’re making! I’d do the exact opposite of what you’re doing! You’re just wrong!

How many times have you wanted to tell someone that? Or told someone that, only to hear the other side of the story. To hear how they really felt and what was involved in their decision. And after listening to their story, decided you would probably make their same decision, or something close to it.

Sometimes those shoes do more than hurt; they can actually kill our spirit and our will to continue. They hurt so bad all we want to do is whatever it takes to get them off and put on something a lot more comfortable. A lot of times we want to just put them on someone else so they’d know how we feel.

Too bad it doesn’t work that way.

There have sure been a lot of decisions that I’ve made that others have questioned. And rightly so. I’ve made a lot of decisions based on how bad my shoes were hurting, thinking what I did would somehow make them more comfortable; stretch them out a little. I didn’t really stop to think what would be involved in just getting a new pair of shoes.

I thought they’d be too expensive. I thought it would be way too hard to find what I really liked. That there wouldn’t be that many choices available and I’d have to settle for something I really didn’t like all that well. And I was afraid it would take too long to get used to the new ones.

The old familiar ones were much easier to keep, and just try to ignore how much they were hurting.

When I should’ve just gone ahead and bought new shoes then, rather than keeping the old ones and trying to pretend they didn’t hurt. Because no matter how hard I tried, they just got more and more uncomfortable until I had no choice but to throw them out.

And surprisingly the new ones I bought were surprisingly comfortable as soon as I put them on.

What had I been thinking?

If it had been someone else in that situation and they’d made the bad decision that I did, well, I’d have given them a really hard time. I’d have told them how bad that decision was and why, and told them I’d never make such a bad decision.

Wow. Maybe it’s time to REALLY put ourselves in each other’s shoes.

But it’s not that easy, is it?

The next time you criticize someone’s decisions, try to really put yourself in their place. What are they really going though, and what would you really do?

It’s really not that easy.

You Just Don’t Understand

How many times have we heard that?

How many times have we said that to someone?

But a few days ago I saw this, and decided it sure fits these four words:

If you don’t call me I’ll understand.

If you don’t text me I’ll understand.

If I forget you you’ll understand.

Yes, our lives are all busy. Days or weeks go by before we realize it.

But a phone call takes only a few minutes.

A text message takes 30 seconds.

Forgetting can take either a few minutes, a few days, or a lifetime.

Because first you have to understand that you were never that important to that person in the first place.

“But I. . . “

“I can’t,” she said. So she didn’t.

“I tried,” she said. But she really didn’t.

“It didn’t work,” she said. But she didn’t try.

“I couldn’t do it,” she said. But she didn’t try.

“It was too hard,” she said. Because she never tried.

“I gave up,” she said. Because she half-heartedly tried and didn’t try to finish.

“I never knew that,” she said. Because she never cared to learn.

“I didn’t realize,” she said. Because she never took the time to listen.

“I never accomplished anything,” she said at the end.

Because she never put forth the effort to try.

Don’t let this happen to you. There’s still time to accomplish what you want to do. But you have to try in order to make it happen. 

It’s Sad When Someone You Knew

Becomes someone you knew.

How often does that happen? Too many times as far as I’m concerned.

There are many reasons. People relocate to new places and meet new people. Interests change. Spouses change, making once close relationships uncomfortable.

It’s tough maintaining relationships today. But as we get older, we learn to appreciate those who stay with us, and those we reconnect with after several years.

Facebook and Instagram have helped me reconnect with people I’d sadly lost contact with over the years, which I’m delighted about. I may not see some of these friends often, because they aren’t living close to me. But we’ve rekindled friendships, which are important.

The sad thing is, many people I used to know who are living here locally are no longer people I know.

Oh, I know them. And we used to be close. But life changes, and we don’t even realize it until it’s too late and those friendships disappear, lost in a sea of being too busy or not really caring any more, or having such strong viewpoints on subjects we can’t even agree to disagree on. And the friendship is gone as quickly as it began.

And they become someone  that we used to know.

Fortunately, in my case, many friends who moved away are still close, and we see each other a few times a year, but talk or text regularly. Friendships that are still strong and growing.

It’s sad when people we used to know become just that. People we used to know. Maybe we were friends, but maybe we really weren’t. 

Maybe we never really knew them, because we now hear them say things we could never imagine them saying or even thinking!

Sort of hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?

Remembering – in 2022

This post was originally published six years ago, on the fifteenth anniversary of the day the world stood still. The day America was attacked on its own soil by terrorists from a foreign nation. But it’s still etched indelibly in our minds, and our hearts. So I have updated it for today.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 21 years, Just think of all the children and young adults today who have no memory of this atrocity because they weren’t even born yet, or were far too young to even know about it, except from history classes at school.

So many of us say “we’ll never forget!” But I daresay a lot of people have, or tend to push it out of their minds, not wanting to remember, because by remembering, it makes us think about our own mortality, our vulnerability, and we just don’t want to think about it.

So here is what I wrote 6 years ago on this day. I think it’s still very much relevant for today:

“I still remember so much about that day. The day all of our lives were changed, at least for a while. Some have already forgotten. Some remembered for a few years, and then as America rebuilt, their memories faded. Some even foolishly decided that it was all a publicity stunt and that it never happened. There are still others who claim our own government did this, and what’s more frightening, there are a lot more people out there now that believe it.

Why? Because i today’s age it’s so much easier to blame our government for everything that goes wrong in our lives. And to actually believe that our government could have been behind something so heinous, so devastating, something that resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people is just too ludicrous and ridiculous to even imagine.

But many will never forget. They can’t. They were there. Or loved ones were. They lost friends and family. Their lives will never be the same again.

I remember where I was when it all happened. How I found out. How I felt.

I remember that morning so clearly. Like many of us, I had just gotten to work, had just settled in with my coffee. Then I heard all the voices, the far-from-normal raised voices that are so atypical of offices on a Tuesday morning.

Like millions of others I stood in our break room, coffee in hand as it got cold, as I watched the events unfolding before our eyes. We didn’t know at that time what really had happened. It was all speculation. But we knew it was horrible.

Terrorism wasn’t a common word fifteen years ago. But one thing I remember clearly as we watched on that television screen was one of our employees coming in the kitchen, as the announcers spoke of a second plane hitting the other building, and hinted at the possibility the attack had been planned.

That employee spoke a name, in disgust. Bin Laden. We didn’t realize how right he was at the time, but in my heart, I knew as soon as he said it.

One man, so filled with hate. One man had set out to destroy our country.

He didn’t destroy our country. But he destroyed lives that can never be rebuilt. And that is what I choose to remember today. Those that gave their lives not because they were serving their country, but because they were carrying out their activities of a normal work day, and most likely already thinking about what they were going to do when that work day ended. They had left home that morning, kissing their loved ones…husbands, wives, children…good bye and never knew it was their last morning.

People also boarded four planes that morning. Going on business trips. Visiting families and friends. Going on vacations or honeymoons. They had no idea what was coming. Until they were in the air and their planes were all hijacked. They knew then what was coming, and except for one plane, there was nothing they could do. Except to call loved ones on their cell phones and say a frightened and tearful goodbye. Pray. And wonder what a sure, fiery death would feel like.

And what eternity would be.

For many workers in the towers that morning, their workday started normally and ended abruptly, and they never knew what happened until they walked through the gates of heaven. They were the fortunate ones. They didn’t even know they were burned into oblivion in an instant.

They had no time to be afraid. Terrified. No time to cry out to anyone, including the Lord. They were incinerated.

Imagine the sheer terror, frozen fear, and feelings of total panic which must have been going through the minds of those still alive in the buildings. Put yourselves in their places. How would you have felt?

Racing to stairwells that were already filling with smoke, filling with other terrified people, running for their very lives and not knowing if they’d make it. Not knowing if they’d ever see their loved ones again.

Jumping out of windows, knowing they were only escaping one kind of death for another.

Making what they knew were final phone calls to loved ones and trying to express their feelings in a short thirty second message. Facing their final minutes of life on this earth, wondering what was next? What kind of pain? Wondering if they’d be mourned or forgotten? Knowing they’d never see their children grown and married, never see their unborn baby’s smile or hear its cry? Knowing they’d never have a chance to do all the things they’d planned for their future?

There were also many unknown heroes that day. Those who helped carry wheelchair bound coworkers down stairs when they could have left them behind and saved themselves. Those who helped coworkers down the stairs who just couldn’t walk anymore; who were too exhausted and scared. First responders who never hesitated to run into burning buildings, knowing the risks involved, but knowing they had to try. If they could only save one person…. Many of them perished as well. But they knew the risks and elected to do what they knew they had to do. Others came days later to volunteer to help the survivors, and many of them died years later from breathing the air that was filled with the ashes of the dead as well as the ashes from the burned buildings.

We’ve all heard the story about the heroic passengers on that plane which crashed in the field in Pennsylvania. They knew they were going to die as well, but chose to spend their last moments trying to prevent even more catastrophe by causing the plane to plunge into a field instead of a building. They sacrificed their lives, which were going to be ended anyway, and chose to do what they could to save others by preventing that plane from killing so many more.

As we remember what happened 15 [now 21] years ago we must remember not only what happened to our country, but more importantly what happened to almost 3,000 individuals that day. And to their families. The lost husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, and friends. The weddings that never took place; babies that were never born; marriage proposals never made; books never written.

For those families not a day goes by that they do not feel their loss; that they do not remember the price innocent lives paid for another person’s hate.

On this anniversary of September 11, please remember not only what changed our country, but the families who will forever be hurting from that unprovoked attack. Our prayers can never take away your pain.”

Please remember them. Today, tomorrow, next month, next year. Because their friends and families still remember every day.

Nightwork by Nora Roberts

Before I got my Kindle I forced myself to wait for a book I really REALLY wanted to read to come out in paperback. Because of my voracious reading habit I just couldn’t bring myself to buy hardcovers upon their first release. And in doing so I missed out on so many pleasurable reading experiences.

However, kindle has changed that, thankfully, although I still have a collection of actual books, most paperbacks but some very special volumes in hardcover. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

Add more actual books to my collection when I already have them in my kindle? I hadn’t considered it. Until now. Because this particular novel by one of my favorite authors deserves a place of honor in my library.

When I first saw all the ads on Amazon about it, I knew I’d want to read it, just because it was written by Nora Roberts. So it went on my Wishlist.

But I didn’t read anything about what “Nightwork” was about. I just assumed it would be good. Then I began reading reviews of it, which were mostly good or very good, but a few mixed comments about how they just couldn’t get into it; it was too long; it wasn’t her typical story; or a few didn’t like the plot line.

I’m sure every author gets some mixed reviews on their books, no matter who they are. But these reviews intrigued me and made me decide to read it a lot sooner than I’d planned.

And now…I should’ve started reading it as soon as it came out. Yes, it’s that good. No, it’s not exactly her typical storyline. It’s better. Stronger. And more enticing. Yes, it’s longer than most of her other works, but it wouldn’t be the great story it is if it were shorter. It takes time to tell a great story, and Nora has done a fantastic job of not only character development with her four main characters, but a story with so many twists and turns you can’t see all of them coming.

Her descriptions of the various places the story is set in are so well written you can totally picture them in your mind, at least I sure can! And the food her main character creates…she needs to include recipes! Even for someone like me who really doesn’t enjoy cooking all that much.

All in all, this is a great read, one that you won’t be disappointed with. Yes, there were a couple of slow pages, but that happens in almost every book.

And the ending…back and forth but totally perfect. Could there be a follow-up? I don’t know; that’s entirely up to the characters; and Nora, of course! But it would sure be another fun read!

You notice I didn’t mention the actual story line. That, my friends, you’ll have to discover for yourselves as you begin this incredible journey with these fascinating characters.

Read it. And let me know what you think!

A Flamingo Baby Shower

Did you know that flamingos lay one egg at a time? But before the egg is laid, both parents help to make the nest, carefully mounding it just right with mud and twigs and feathers. Then after the mother bird lays the egg it incubates 27-31 days, and both parents take turns sitting on the nest.

We didn’t know it either, until some of the flamingos came to us ask us to do a baby shower for one of the flock. And they wanted it in two weeks, because they had to be sure to have it before the baby was hatched. And since Felicia had just laid the egg in the nest she and Frankie had built, the flock only had two weeks to plan and have the event. 

And Karen and I were already in the middle of planning baby showers for our own daughters! “Please, PLEASE help us,” they said. “It’s important!”

So what were we to do? It’s not pretty when flamingos start crying, so we had no choice but to squeeze another baby shower into Karen’s company’s schedule. Fortunately she didn’t have anything on the books for that day so we were good! 

How to do this quick? Well, first of all there wasn’t time to print and mail invitations, and since all of the invitees  had email and Facebook accounts, digital invitations were perfect! We’d suggested the flamingos could fly to each home and deliver them, but they said they had too much to do and that would simply take too long, plus flamingos don’t really like to fly a lot!

And all of the flamingo ladies invited accepted immediately! This was going to be loads of fun! Decorating was easy, because we already had decor stored from other parties.

What to serve? Not too tough, since by now we were used to planning parties for our flamingos, and we knew what they liked, but we still had to make it a bit unique, with more appetizer items and fruit. You know, nothing heavy, because the mom-to-be had to get back to the nest for her turn incubating the egg. 

And course there had to be cakes, cupcakes, and cookies! And the cuter the better!

Only at this event, since it was a baby shower, we elected to serve an assortment of non-alcoholic punches and drinks, along with limited cocktails. Momma had to get back to her nest, you know, and she couldn’t be tipsy!

Felicia arrived right on time for the shower, leaving Frankie to take his turn on the nest while a number of his friends kept him company and fed him his favorite chilled shrimp appetizers. So everyone was happy!

And the girls had a great time! They played games, again led by Karen and me. They’d wanted to play the “How Big is the Egg?” game, a version of the popular “How Big is Mommy’s Tummy?” game, but Felicia hadn’t wanted to disturb the egg by moving it around to measure it, so that didn’t happen. After the games it was time for food, and everyone ate and ate, and then Felicia opened a huge pile of gifts! So many cute and fun things for the baby flamingo, including a baby book! (What kind of gifts do you get for a baby flamingo? We didn’t know, but her friends did, and they were perfect!)

Everyone kept an eye on the time, and when it was time to leave all the guests signed the guestbook, gathered up their shower favors, and took Felicia back to the nest where she showed Frankie and their friends all their goodies for their first hatchling, who would be arriving in a few days.

It was a great day, and a great party!

And a week later we received pictures of the newest flamingo, hatched just three days after the baby shower.

Isn’t she precious? Now eat lots of yummy shrimp, little one, and soon you’ll begin to look like mommy and daddy, and you can join them on their adventures!

Photo Sources: 1st Row: designMyParty; Pinterest; Dazzle Expressions – 2nd Row: via Pinterest – 3rd Row: Pixabay; Pinterest- 4th Row: via Pinterest – 5th Row: via Pinterest- 6th Row: via Pinterest – 7th Row: via Pinterest; via Etsy- 8th Row: storytender.com

Age is Only a State of Mind

Or at least it should be, in very many ways.

My mind is still in my 40’s, and sometimes my 30’s. My body is usually more in its 50’s. But my actual age is none of those. It’s older.

And my best friend is some 15 years younger than me.

Several of my female friends are happily dating, or married to, men 6-10 years younger than they are, which used to be something that just wasn’t done. Those women  used to be called cougars, but that’s a term I really haven’t heard much lately. 

Age is a state of mind as much as a date on the calendar. I know people who are in their 30’s who act like they’re in their 50’s if not older. And vice versa. 

For example, the majority of people in their early 70’s are retired. I’m still working a full time job and having a great time with it. I have no plans to retire yet. My husband still works 30-32+ hours a week and plans to continue working for another ten years or more.

As long as we’re healthy and enjoying our lives, what’s the point in stopping what we’re doing? After all, life is meant to be lived to its fullest as long as we can. And that’s what we, along with many other people in our age group, are doing. 

We know people who have begun second careers or even started a small business in their 60’s. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re able to do it, go for it! Although you may not be doing the same type of work you did in previous careers.

Many seniors are still active in sports such as tennis, bike riding, golf, paddle boarding and even surfing well past their 60’s. Not me, though, except for bike riding, but I never did the other activities anyway. My husband would still be playing tennis except for his pulmonary issues.

My family is known for its longevity. My mom passed away at age 94. Her oldest sister was about that same age, and her younger sister is still in fairly good shape at 95. My grandparents lived well into their late 80’s, and my mother’s dad was still actively farming the day he died at age 88.

Yes, I do think about my age at times, but I don’t sit and calculate how many years I may have left. That’s not my decision. When the Lord calls me home I’ll go. And not a minute before.

I hope to see my grandchildren at least graduate from high school, even though I’m 66 years older than our oldest grandchild. And with my health the way it is so far, I have no reason to doubt that will happen.

What I’m saying is, your age shouldn’t limit what you do. You may not be as capable of certain physical activities as you were several years ago, but as long as your mind stays active and alert, you’re still able to do a majority of the activities you always did; only maybe not quite as fast!

My advice to my “senior” friends? Live your life to the fullest. Enjoy your golden years. Do what you want to do rather than what others say you should do. If you want to take a chance, take it, as long as you know all of the things that could happen and as long as your loved ones support your decisions.

Personally, I’m enjoying my life, and I’m nowhere near ready to quit what I’m doing. 

Who knows? I may write another book or two, embellish my jewelry making talents, or learn to paint, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

As far as I’m concerned, the best is still to come. I have a lot more things I want to accomplish before I go home. And hopefully my husband will be with me as well.

How about you?

Every Flower Blooms

In its own time.

It doesn’t rush; it doesn’t hurry because someone else wants it to bloom right now.

It doesn’t take in extra nutrients and water to hurry the process along because it knows that would alter or even destroy the beauty that is to come.

It doesn’t fear the storms around it that may threaten the growing blooms because it knows those tiny buds are formed for a specific purpose and they are also designed to withstand those storms.

It doesn’t worry that not everyone will appreciate or even enjoy the beauty that emerges, because it was specifically designed for that one special touch of color and design that will make its area of the garden a more special and perfect place.

But only for a time. The time may be short, lasting only a day or so, or it may last a week or even two. And when it’s time, its beauty begins to fade.

It doesn’t begrudge the fact that its beauty begins to fade; it changes as it ages, as it’s designed to do. There’s even a special beauty in a drying bloom that sometimes only it’s creator appreciates.

But even as that bloom prepares to die and return to the soil that nurtured it, it spreads its seeds that will become more blooms, just like it once was.

And the flower lives on through its descendants, which grow and bloom in its image.

And in their particular appointed time.