Welcome back to another weekly edition of Throwback Thursday where I look back at this day in my blog's history! You can click on the links to be transported back in time to read the different blog posts.
On this day in 2016 work had just begun on our new covered deck. We have loved that new deck so much and it has been a place of some of the best memories... I just wish my mom had been able to enjoy it longer. I feel her presence more on that deck than anywhere else in the house. She loved it so much. Since it's covered it's comfortable in all but the hottest days of the year. We had Cosette's 2nd birthday party out there... so this blog post makes me a little weepy, realizing that it's only been two years since they started rebuilding the porch... but happy that mom did get to enjoy it for awhile.
In 2015 it was a special "Reasons to Love" post but this time it was Reasons to Love Helen - my sister-in-law! It's been three years since that post and I could probably do a hundred reasons to love her now. We have the BEST text message chats! She posts the sweetest pictures of my nephew Finn! She is always concerned about how I'm doing and always asks about my kids and... we could not have chosen a better wife for Bryan. And now she's incubating another niece for me... quite possibly another red-headed niece... and I'm planning a visit to New York later this year to welcome the new Gant Princess!
I was really thinking deeply about our food choices in 2013 and what might be out there that really isn't good for us. I was also having a little trouble with the youngest kid and wondering when he'd step up to the plate (he has, trust me!) I was deep in the swamp with disability and all that fun stuff. Not my best post ever but it's good to see where I was on this day five years ago.
Oh goodness... what a mess was this time six years ago! Moving back down south... trying to sort Austin's situation out... not knowing if I was going to go back to work or end up filing for disability. It was just so much chaos. The important thing is that I survived it all! Moving in with my parents felt like the lowest of the lows at the time but of course, I didn't know then how little time my mom had left and how important it would be for me to be with her. I read this post now and think... Poor Heather just didn't have a clue. How different would we live our lives if we knew what lurked ahead? Lots. I'm telling you, we would live LOTS differently.
In 2011, I was blogging about Vacation Bible School and the pledges we used to make in the assembly every year. They don't do that any more... at least not around here... and I think it's important to learn those things. But it's more important to know why you believe what you believe. I'm still sorting that part out. When you pledge allegiance, what are you really saying?
I was back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon on this day in 2010 and was really encouraged about my food choices. We had also just recently been to the Fox to see the Little House on the Prairie musical, which was great fun! Somehow that particular day ended up being a double post day and I wrote about a customer who hit a bear with his car. You just never know what might happen here!
AND finally... in 2009 I was having a fabulous weekend watching old movies and staying indoors to beat the heat. I have a long history of hating Summer!
Hope you enjoyed this trip back in time on my blog! Happy Thursday!
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Welcome back to another weekly edition of Throwback Thursday where I look back at this day in my blog's history! You can click on the links to be transported back in time to read the different blog posts.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I am, however, a big follower of social media and any big story will begin to filter through into what people are posting. So when I began to see stories about children being separated from their parents when crossing into the United States, I started forming a lot of questions in my mind. I stewed over things for most of yesterday and then finally, after dinner last night I started a dialogue with Marvin about what is happening at the border. He's a good one to have these discussions with because he is smart, honest and articulate and enjoys a good debate. We don't always agree but he never makes me feel uncomfortable with speaking my heart to him. Here are a few of the questions I had for him (and for you, if you care to comment on them):
- Why are these people not being allowed into the United States?
- Why are they being detained instead of just turned back?
- Are they accused of a crime? Are they being given due process? Are they represented? Are the children represented in any way?
- What has changed about the situation on the border in the recent weeks that has constituted a crisis?
- What happened to the children in the past?
- Why would a parent risk separation from their children - if it was risky to cross into the border, why would they subject their children to it?
- Who is caring for the children while they are separated from their parents?
If you've read my blog for any time at all, you know that at the very core of who I am, I am a mother and a grandmother. Children are precious to me. Lives are precious to me. I am staunchly pro-life, pro-child, pro-family.
For example, yesterday Cosette had brought her kitten with her when she came to our house. She is deeply attached to her kitten. We needed to go to the store and it is very hot where we live so we couldn't have left the kitten in the car for any amount of time. We got Whiskers settled comfortably in my bathroom with fresh water and kitten kibble and started to leave the house. Cosy could NOT understand why the kitten couldn't come. She was heartbroken... devastated... hysterical! I was in my bathroom upstairs while her dad was in the driveway trying to get her in the car and I could hear her screaming from there. I went outside and she was so upset that she was hyperventilating. I knew we couldn't just put her in the car like that... so I carried her to the covered porch and sat down in the rocking chair with her in my lap and just held her and rocked her and kissed her sweaty little head as her tears wet the front of my shirt. I wanted her to understand why the cat couldn't go but before I could even begin to reason with her, I needed to calm her down and make her feel safe.
I don't fully understand this issue at the border. Those questions I listed for you... I don't fully have answers yet. I see the image of the toddler crying for it's mother and it rips my heart out. I know that there are probably reasons that these people are being detained. I believe that there have to be reasons that they aren't allowed into our country. But what matters most to me is the hurt and fear that people are feeling at being separated from their families.
When I moved to Florida and Cody stayed behind in Georgia, I could not even say his name without breaking down into tears. He was my child and he needed to be with me. It wasn't time for him to be out of my nest yet. He was 17.
When we were unable to see Cosy two years ago, same thing. I could not say her name without crying. Even now, I will tell you that the time away from her was the hardest thing I've ever lived through, even in comparison to my mom's illness last year. It's that loss of the parent-child relationship that is unnatural. My mom was safe and surrounded by people who loved her and were trained in how to care for her. I knew what was happening in my mom's life but with Cosy, we didn't know what was happening. We knew my mom would die and her suffering would end but we didn't have any certainty about our future relationship with Cosy.
I can't tell you that I came to any firm conclusions about this situation and I am far from well informed. But I have to admit that when the order came down today to stop separating families, I felt a huge sense of relief. I know that our borders are not as safe as they should be. I know that other countries - like Russia, for instance - have much stricter border protection. But as Marvin says, we're better than those other countries. We don't want to be them. For me, when I don't understand the problem, I just know I have to err on the side of love and compassion.
I've posted a few screenshots that I found on social media today that made me think... I'm also including some other words of wisdom.
I stumbled across this in a draft of a blog I never published... these are things I found on little notes in my Grandma's bible. She died in 1998... so, twenty years ago! I thought some of these might speak to some of you... and I want you to know that wherever you stand politically, I just hope that you remember to show kindness and compassion to others. Here's what Grandma Pennington said:
- Your best friend is he who brings out the best that is within you.
- Every human heart has an unseen battlefield where the good and the bad are fighting it out
- Without the Holy Spirit, the Christian witness is powerless
- Real goodness is a trait of character which only comes through the indwelling spirit
- God never gives power to a person who will not use it
- People are attracted to Christ by the lives of those who profess Him
- The highest purpose of prayer is to turn our attention toward God, to get God into our minds and; into our thinking
- God is as near to you as the air you breathe, not way out yonder somewhere
- Prayer is coming to God with open minds saying, "God reveal to me what you want me to do".
- Many times God reveals His will to us one step at a time, as you take that step then you can see the next one.
- We cannot prove God by argument but we can make our own lives an argument for God
- When we lose hope, we lose God
- I believe that Christ rose from the dead, this resurrection is my assurance that there is life for me beyond the grave. "Because I live, " he said, "ye shall also live".
- I know someone will carry my body and bury it in the ground. There it will decay but because I know Christ, that will not be the end of me. I shall live after death.
- A friend is one who comes in when the world goes out.
- If asked to, God will soften harshness in people
- Religion is both love for God and love for man. It involves the fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man
- If a man would not help his son or daughter when he or she was needed it and was in trouble, then he was not a worthy father
- There have been many, many people in whose heart our Lord stilled the storm after some great sorrow or hurt or disappointment. He is still working His miracles.
- I cannot forgive my sins. I cannot blot them out. My only hope is the mercy of God.
- With God's help, we can face any temptation and overcome it.
- Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not. (Augustine)
- It is important that we know what we believe
- God is stronger than satan, goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, righteousness is stronger than sin
- Day by day we gather the harvest of yesterday and we are sowing for the harvest of the future
- If you have a problem, plant a seed
- a missionary is not necessarily one who crosses the sea, but one who sees the cross
- Suffering accepted and used may prove to be the best fruit of your life.
- God's grace does not always explain nor remove the thorn, but it is always sufficient to overcome
- He who cannot let go cannot hang on.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
I bragged on the phone this afternoon about feeling good and then out of nowhere... BAM!... another headache. I didn't play around with this one... it got the good migraine meds right out of the gates. Last week I was nearly comatose over date "night" (and day and night and the next day) and I'd like to be a little more engaged this week. Sprinkle all those good "headache be gone" vibes my way, if you would.
|Gamer Girl watching her dad play|
This morning I had the little chickadee and her furry companion with me. I picked them up and we drove through Dunkin' Donuts for an iced coffee for Nana and some munchkins for the munchkin. The employees gathered in the drive-thru window to see the tiny kitten and tried to bribe her from us. Cosy would never forgive me if I gave her kitten away. They are fairing fairly well, I think.
|Tucked in for a nap|
Now I'm going to close my eyes for a little while before time to head south for Date Night (and day and night and the next day). Hope your Tuesday has been lovely! Love and hugs, y'all!
|wearing a chair for a hat|
|Laughing at her silly dad...|
|A bit wound up...|
Monday, June 18, 2018
|Skylight allowing sunlight in...|
|Pillow in skylight|
2. I slept until 8am this morning. That never happens unless I'm at Marvin's in his very dark, very quiet, very cool room. When I opened my eyes and saw that it was 8, I stretched like a cat waking from an afternoon nap. I think Marvin was actually awake before me this morning and wondering why he hadn't had a response from me yet on the text he sent me late last night. I think in another hour he was going to be ready for a welfare check on me.
3. Marvin got an amazing message last night from Butch Walker - a musician that we both really adore. I worried that Father's Day would be hard for Marvin since it's the first since his son passed away. Then he got this lovely message from this amazing artist and it really boosted his spirits. If you don't know who Butch is, you really should check him out. He is my current jam while I'm in the car... and has been for a few months now. He writes really lovely songs with brilliant lyrics that hit me right in the feels. He had posted on Instagram about Father's Day and Marvin commented about it being his first without his son. Butch sent him a really kind message in response and... you know, there aren't a lot of public figures who really take that kind of time to be genuine to their fans. He earned mucho respect from me for that... and of course, made Marvin's day! So yay!
4. It looks like we're going to have terribly hot weather this week. I hate hot weather so much. I just literally melt... I get the nasty heat migraines... I sweat like a prostitute in church... my hair gets frizzy from the humidity. Summer is not my favorite. We've talked about this. But fortunately... I have very few outdoor obligations this week. I'll be up here in my nest with the a/c on except when I'm at Marvin's nest with the a/c on... avoiding the sunlight like a vampire. And I am literally counting the days until October... when our temperatures finally start consistently getting out of the eighties. There are 104 days until October, if you were wondering.
5. Since I'm nesting hard... I'm (of course) binge-watching tv... and right now I'm watching the series "Madame Secretary" which is a great show! More about it in my next couch potato post but definitely worth a watch.
6. I did climb out of the nest long enough to actually cook food for myself today... I made kraft macaroni and cheese and added a can of tuna. I wanted to toss in some english peas but I was raiding Pop's pantry and he hates peas. I need to do more salads/fresh fruit and veggies but I just haven't felt well enough for a shopping trip. Pop picks things up for me and Austin picks things up for me but I'm due a proper food shop for myself. Maybe tomorrow.
7. I've been working on my ancestry.com stuff... my tree and Marvin's... and I found out that Abraham Lincoln is my fifth cousin, four times removed on my dad's side... at least I think that's how it works out. At any rate, we do have a common ancestor and that totally thrilled me. Genealogy is so much fun for me! Ancestry.com is stupid expensive and I always find myself focusing more on it when the renewal is coming up. Little finds like this are great motivation to keep digging. Posting about my ancestors on my blog is also keeping me motivated. My next post will be about this common ancestor that Cousin Abe and I share so... stay tuned!
8. Tomorrow is Cosy day... and date night... hopefully I won't be so worn out from the first bit to not enjoy the second bit. I try to pace myself. I haven'ta s much time with her lately because of my headaches/blood pressure/back issues and ... not having a car most of the time. I had her for a little while on Saturday but I didn't feel well and she was missing her kitten so she went home early. I'll have to make sure to get the kitten tomorrow. I think. Marvin is not playing softball this Summer so date night is slower paced (and cooler) and we're home earlier than when he's playing.
And... I guess that will do it for this week's Reasons To Love Monday! What is your motivation this week? What helps drag you out of your nest to face the hot temperatures? What keeps your blood pressure in a nice, healthy range? I'd love to hear from you!
Saturday, June 16, 2018
James Peter Allaire
BIRTH 12 JUL 1785 • New Rochelle, Westchester, New York, United States
DEATH 20 MAY 1858 • Allaire, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States
The Historic Village at Allaire in Farmington, New Jersey is based on my 5x- great grandfather's life. Our lineage is as such:
James Peter Allaire was the father of
Throckmorton Allaire who was the father of
Sarah Frances Allaire who was the mother of
Roland Ely Shafto who was the father of
Clara Shafto who was the mother of
Bruce Bronson Gant Sr. who was the father of
The biography from the park website was written better than I could so I'm sharing that here.
Biography of the Founder
More about James P. Allaire from the www.geni website:
Friday, June 15, 2018
That awkward moment when Throwback Thursday becomes Flashback Friday... Wednesday night into Thursday became the worst headache I've had in a long time and I could not bear to even do something as simple as post a blog post that was already written. Boyfriend Brag Time: my guy gave me the most relaxing, amazing week(end) (which is actually most people's midweek but it's our weekend. It's complicated.) and took such wonderful care of me. If you've never been a single woman... or a woman married to a man who just doesn't give a rip what you're feeling like... which describes my entire adult life... you cannot imagine how lovely it feels just to have something as basic as, "can I bring you a cool compress for your head?" or to hear "I'm sorry you don't feel well" from someone who means it. He watched over me and let me sleep and made a superhuman effort to keep a quiet, cool space for me to be in so that I could be comfortable. It just melts my stone cold heart into a little babbling brook when he does these sweet things for me. He also fed me so that I didn't have to leave the house until time to go home. And I had to go home because there was this med that I've been missing, as described in my last blog post. I got home... called the pharmacy, they got it ready quickly and Austin hurried over to pick it up for me and although I have bit of a residual headache today, I'm so much better than yesterday!
So let's pick up where you were supposed to be yesterday with a review of blogs from YESTERDAY in blog history. I hope you enjoy!
It's that time of week where I look back to this day in past years on my blog and share a few clips and updates. Since 2017 and 2016 were a bit crazy... I'm going to start with this day in 2015. We had just returned from Connecticut (where we attended my brother's wedding, see Wedding Wednesday from last week if you missed the flashback). Cosy was here and melting my heart but Oliver was not yet here. I was looking forward to holding both babies at once and I have so many times since then... but what I wasn't prepared for, that has been the bigger joy for me, was their sweet interactions (and sometimes not so sweet) with each other. I never, ever, ever talk to Oliver that he doesn't ask me where Cosy is. Any time I say, "guess who is coming to play with you this week?" she immediately guesses Oliver. They might... possibly... who knows... be my only grandchildren and they might very likely be only children. I so very much want them to have each other to lean on! That's another thing about grandparenting... you find yourself focusing on helping your grandchildren foster relationships with other people who will be in their lives long after you are gone. Cosy is really attached to Austin's girlfriend, Jessie. I would be jealous every time Cosy asks me to let Jessie push the shopping cart instead of me... but then I think, if Jessie is involved in Cosy's life long term, I want Cosy to WANT to be around Jessie. I want her to be surrounded by people who love her and make her feel loved. This perspective helps me a lot in dealing with the fact that Oliver is so far away... he sees his other grandma and her mother and sister more than once a week and me just once a month, usually. As much as I wish I could see him more, I'm so glad that there are three other ladies loving him to pieces when I am not around!
In my blog post on this day in 2013, I talked about my thoughts about boys and girls (men and women) and their different perspectives in relationships. This was while I was in sort of an "I'm not ever doing that again" stage of life when it came to relationships but I still stand by what I said. If anything is different with this whole "later in life love" this time around, I'd say that it's taking my own advice of not trying to change him...
Girls fall in love with boys hoping they can change them.... boys fall in love with girls hoping they don't change a bit. And what happens? Guys do what they've always done and if they want to play video games from dark til dawn, they do. And girls get lazy, feeling unappreciated and... let themselves go. I've done it in every single relationship of my life. I've seen a guy as a rough draft that I can improve on... a fixer up, so to speak. And they see me as "move in ready" and expect things to stay perfect, with no attention from them. Relationships fail because we love people for who we want them to be, not for who they are.
If anything is different with this whole "later in life love" this time around, I'd say that it's taking my own advice of not trying to change him... just appreciating who he already is. I don't mean that we never have anything to gain, no opportunities to grow. I hope that I'm always going to learn new things throughout my life and I know he feels the same way. I'm talking about someone's fundamental personality and character traits not their knowledge and abilities.
On this day in 2012, I was getting ready to move back to Riverdale for (what I wasn't sure then would be) a short time and looking for gainful employment / trying to decide if I should go ahead and file for disability. When I look back to that period in time there was so much uncertainty in my life. I'm really glad that things are so much more stable now. Obviously, life can change in the blink of an eye but wow! that was a time of really big decisions. I moved to Riverdale in June and my parents bought a house in Cleveland in August. In the meantime I found a job in Fayetteville (near Riverdale for those who aren't local) and it was exactly what I needed to end my career with a little bit of self-esteem but also with the documentation that was crucial in getting my disability approved. Being able to attempt to work as little as an hour or two a day and not being able to do even that small amount of time consistently was key.
I really focused on finding humor in the situation back in 2011 as we were sort of figuring out that things were not going to get better. I read these posts in 2011 KNOWING that my house is about to get struck by lightning (literally) and I'm about to have to move and what little rest and comfort I had at the time (my home base) was going to be ripped out from under me. Of course, I also didn't know that I was going to find a cheaper, quieter place closer to work... and because of Renter's Insurance the move was going to be done by someone other than me, including the packing. Yes, it was a real stressful situation at the time but it ended up ok. That's the important thing. It always ends up ok.
In 2010, I was getting back into Weight Watchers and did lose a good bit of weight before my back problems started and I had to get on meds that really don't allow me to lose weight. Even when I eat practically nothing for an extended period of time I don't lose. It would be great to have less weight to carry around but I'm not too stressed over it. I'm ok with me.
And that's all I have for this week! I hope you enjoyed this look back on today in my blog history. Happy Flag Day!
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Usually I write my blog posts for Wednesday and Thursday in advance so that while I am with my guy... I'm not spending a lot of time typing away on my laptop. This week I wasn't quite so organized and he has left for his Wednesday night trivia show so... I thought I'd do a little mid-week update before I commence spa night.
I realized today that I have forgotten one of my medicines for - at least the past week - maybe longer. I take a lot of meds between the different pain meds and blood pressure meds and migraine meds. I think there are 12 different prescriptions in all. I have one drug that I take that is traditionally an anti-depressant but it works well on pain, lowers your blood pressure and helps with migraines- it also helps you sleep - so I'm on sort of a high dose of it. It occurred to me today that I didn't sort it into my weekly drug divider this week and I'm almost certain that I didn't last week. I've struggled with sleep the past several days, my migraines have been terrible for the past week or so and my pain levels are higher than normal, which I was attributing to not sleeping. There's this whole sleep/pain cycle that you learn about when you're a chronic pain patient. Sleep is really important for healing inflammation in your body so when you have interrupted sleep, you have more pain. I slept poorly for several days in a row but fortunately, last night I slept great. I ALWAYS sleep well at Marvin's. His space is quieter and cooler and darker and there are no animals climbing in bed with me and I truly believe that I feel safer when he's near. Not in an... I'm endangered at home kind of way. Just that I know he's nearby and in charge and watching over me and I am therefore more relaxed. Hopefully I can get another night of really deep sleep in and when I get home tomorrow I can figure out what happened to the medicine I'm missing.
I've had a headache all day today and I left my migraine rescue meds at home so I'm just winging it with ibuprofen. It's not really working so this may be a shorter post than I meant.
Cosy and her new kitten came over yesterday. Baby girl loves that kitten like an obsessed stalker. The kitten is still tiny and submissive. It will break Cosy's heart if she gets too big or skittish to let Cosy cuddle her like she wants to. I tried teaching her how to lay her on her back and rub her tummy like I do with my kitty. One good thing about the kitty... somehow she was a trade off for giving up the pacifier so ... I think the paci habit is well and truly broken. We'll see. I told Marvin that the picture he snapped of her last week at lunch with her paci may be the last one we have. I'm glad to see her grow up and not be attached to it but... she's growing up! I'll miss that sweet little face in the rearview mirror with her sunglasses (her "hater shades") and the paci plugging her little mouth while we drive along.
And... I guess that's it for now. I'm going to see if I can find something to get rid of this headache. Hope you had a great Wednesday... I heard thunder but I haven't even peeked outside all day so I have no idea what the weather is like. I'll be back tomorrow with a Throwback Thursday post! Love and hugs!