Sunday Matters: Losing My Dad

Sunday Matters

Right Now:

Taking a break from my normal Sunday Matters template to talk about my dad a little. For years, he’s been plagued by diabetes related conditions (blindness, kidney failure, kidney transplants x 2,  staph infections, etc.) and this past week, he gave in to them and passed away.

We’ve not had a typical father/daughter relationship but there were moments, very specific moments where I felt a connection and those moments are what I am trying to focus on now. One memory I have is the two of us spending the entire day at the Central Library in Los Angeles. My love of reading definitely started from those visits. I was only 4 years old and he’d sit me at a table with a stack of books and we’d sit there all day reading. Moments like that were rare but they are what I remember.

I feel oddly disconnected but at the same time very much in the center of it. I just feel so strange. I have never lost someone so close to me.

There are things that need to be addressed as far as my mom and sister are concerned. Of which, I have very little control over. The situation is very dire and although I have no trouble making decisions on most days, the decisions needed to made here leave me completely overwhelmed. Dysfunctional families are fun to read about, but not much fun to be a part of. To complicate matters, they don’t seem to want my help.

I just need a moment to think about it all.

This Week:

This week will be spent trying to figure stuff out. In the mean time, I am still on social media as a form of distraction. I am still reading because if I stop I feel as if I won’t be able to function. I’ll still be blog hopping and chatting away with all of you because that’s how I deal with things.

Grateful for:

Supportive friends and family.

Sunday Matters: Chinese Take-Out & Zombies

Sunday Matters

This past week was good. The weather was warm, I didn’t have to rush around and I even managed to cook some meals at home. Valentine’s Day was a little uneventful, but mostly by choice. I don’t deal well with crowds and often just opt to stay in, which is exactly what we did.

Except for the 4 a.m. registration for The Sound of Music on Valentine’s Day which wiped me out, only because I managed to turn my ankle. It’s not sprained or bruised but I managed to turn it just enough to keep rolling it every time I take a step. People were running! I was not. All I did was step out of the car wrong. The Hub says this could only happen to me. He’s probably right.

These cake pops that my friend made helped make-up for the early morning wake-up:

Cake pops

My book club met to select the books for the year and it’s an interesting list. I will post it soon. I agonized over my choices but they both made it in, The Boys in the Boat and Norwegian by Night.

And…I got to meet one of my fave people (Karen) for lunch. She and her husband stopped by to have lunch with me on Friday and she made me these awesome pillows.

There is a story behind these pillows. She posted the fabric on Instagram and I was drooling over it. Japanese prints always make me think of Murakami. And then when I met her for lunch, she had these pillows for me! I was near tears and so surprised. I am going to take the two pillows, reclaim the loft and finally have my reading loft. The Teen may protest.

Pillow

Right Now:

We are going to church this morning. I am looking forward to it since I missed last week’s service. I have coffee in hand now but will probably pick-up a green smoothie on the way home from church.

This Week:

Track starts. It was delayed by a week but will start for real this Tuesday. The Girl needs it.

I have a hair appointment. The one that was rescheduled since the one I had two weeks ago ended up being a no-go since the salon was closed. My hair is a disaster because of it. I am debating if I should go shorter.

Reading:

Just finished Her by Harriet Lane. The book was pretty wonderful until the very end when it all went to crap. Seriously, the last three pages. What the heck?

I need to choose my next book and once again, I haven’t a clue what to choose. Dead Wake is looking pretty good.

Watching:

We watched The Sound of Music last night, in prep for the next show. We also watched Definitely, Maybe. I had seen it before but I thought The Girl might enjoy it and she did. I started watching Breaking Bad at lunch. I am almost done with season one and it has grown on me. Tonight, The Walking Dead.

Making:

I am not making anything today but we are going to pick up Chinese take-out. I have been craving it for weeks but no one else has so this is sort of my Valentine treat. Chicken in black bean sauce and House Special garlic and rice noodles. I can’t wait.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for so many things, the roof over my head, my health (even though I have issues now and then, my issues could be so much worse) and I am grateful for friends. This past week, the actions of some of my friends really brought tears to my eyes.

Happy Thought For the Week:

One last week before rehearsals start for The Sound of Music. I will be starting a new book, my hair situation will be taken care of and every night this week I am going to tackle the clutter that has built-up over the past few weeks. When the weather is like this I just want to clean. Sad, but true.

What are you doing today?

A few more pics…

As I mentioned in my previous post, we have a serious lack of photos from this show (Annie) due to the photo ban.  However, I forget about the two photos I purchased.

This is of The Teen as Rooster on stage. Photos taken by Nancy’s Portraits.

Rooster and Hannigan

Rooster, making a seriously creepy face and Ms. Hannigan

Lily, Rooster, Hannigan

Lily St. Regis, Rooster & Hannigan

And because I am a good sport, here is a really old pic from the first time he did Annie. He was Wacky, the dummy. Check out my shirt. Ugh.

Me and Wacky

Sunday Matters: The Sun Will Come Out…on Monday

Sunday Matters

We’ve been in the theater this week for Annie. The Teen fell ill (always does during production week), The Girl had her street clothes taken, and my legs are about to fall off from working backstage but it’s amazing to see the results of all that hard work. The Teen did this show once before as Wacky, the dummy and now he is Rooster. Seems he’s come full circle. The Girl has a dancing part which involves a feather duster. I would love for her to dance around the house and dust for me but she’s not all that into it.

Our home this past week. They’ve performed here many times. It’s a nice venue but Monday can’t come soon enough.

PAC

You may have caught a picture or two from the show on Facebook or Instagram but I promise to post whatever I have later in the week. It’s getting harder and harder to grab these kids for a decent photo because they are old enough to know where they should be, so I no longer catch them wandering around aimlessly.

Right Now:

No in-person church today. With a matinée show and an evening show, which happens to conflict with The Walking Dead mid-season premiere (what??), there is no time but I am about to watch the online service. I am tossing coffee back like it’s nobody’s business, pounding Advil to take the edge off of my aching body and after a very busy day and night the show will wrap and we will be on to the next one (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the Teen and hopefully The Sound of Music for The Girl, if she gets in).

This Week:

This will be a total cinch of a week compared to last week. Track practices begin, one doc appointment, a work party for an Apple project we all worked on, and at the crack of dawn on Valentine’s day (really, 4:30 am), I will try to register The Girl for The Sound of Music. It’s getting harder and harder to get into the shows these days. Just to get a spot in the ensemble. you have to get there really, really early. Once in, she can audition for a lead but she needs to get in first.

There is also my book club’s book selection meeting but now I am not sure if I can go. The date changed and now it conflicts with something I volunteered for. I will be very sad if I am not able to attend as we choose books for the entire year.

Reading:

Finishing up HER by Harriet Lane.

Watching:

All done with season two of Orange is the New Black. Ended with a bang. The other night, I watched half of Chef with Jon Favreau while waiting around in the theater parking lot. I need to watch the other half. What I’ve seen so far, I’ve liked a lot.

I am unable to watch The Walking Dead tonight!! As I mentioned above, I will be working backstage so I will be off of social media all night long and all day Monday so that I can sit down to watch it Monday night. 

Making:

Today, nothing. I plan to grab each kid when I can and stuff food into them at some point. The juggling of meals and required stage time is a very fine art. But after all of this, I suspect I’ll hit the market and whip up some fantastic comfort food but not today.

Grateful for:

I love the shows. I love seeing my kids on stage but I am glad the week is almost over.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Track season begins this week. I know it’s one more thing on the list of to-dos but we all love track. The Teen no longer does it, but The Girl loves it and has good friends who do it with her. Makes it super fun. Maybe it will motivate me to get up off my butt and actually do something.

Sunday Matters: Super Bowl is All About the Nibbly Bits (When your team is not playing)

Sunday Matters

This was a trying week. I’m glad it’s over. To cheer everyone up, we headed to LACMA’s free visit event. I love museums but don’t get to visit them often so this was a real treat. And…there were tacos afterward. Art and tacos can make anyone happy.

Right Now:

Looking forward to church this morning. We are starting a new series. Not exactly sure what it’s about it but promises to be a solution to a well-known problem. Later, the Super Bowl. It would have been really great if Green Bay had made it in but they didn’t so the focus turns to food and just kicking back. I have a major hankering for cheese dip.

This Week:

Oh lord. I hope this week is not a repeat of last week. It will be busy for sure because it’s production week for Annie but as we’ve done before, we will take it one day at a time and we will eventually come out on the other side of the tunnel.

Reading:

I started Her by Harriet Lane. I am immediately taken with it and can’t flip those Kindle pages fast enough.

Watching:

I caught the last half of Captain Phillips and man, was it intense.

Later, as I mentioned above, we will park ourselves in front of the TV for the Super Bowl and hope for some seriously funny commercials and a decent half time show.

Making:

Chili, hots dogs, corn bread, some sort of dip for tortilla chips… cheese dip or layer dip or maybe nachos. Oh, and lemon cupcakes!

Grateful for:

The beautiful weather and my nice, warm bed. I didn’t sleep all that well on Friday night and it sure felt good to hit the sack last night.

Happy Thought For the Week:

We have tickets to see Annie on Saturday and we finally get to see The Teen as Rooster and The Girl as a dancing servant. We can’t wait.

The Nicest, Sweetest Person I’ve Never Met

I debated if I should post anything at all but we lost a dear blogging friend and I’m sad to say that this happened over the summer and I just found out about it this week. I am so sad over this.

Amy, of The House of the Seven Tails passed away in May (really?). I heard this second-hand from another blogger but it’s left me a little stunned. Bloggers disappear for a number of reasons. Especially in 2014. It seemed like so many moved on or decided to focus on other things. I  knew Amy was battling a number of health issues but we had regular interactions and I really got to know her quite well. As well as you can get to know someone you’ve never met.

But in early summer, I lost touch with her and when her birthday came up on Facebook recently it hit me that I haven’t heard from her in a really long time. I’m so sad over the news. She loved her cats more than anything. I think even more than books. I feel badly for not being there for her at the end. She was always so positive no matter how she was feeling.

I am thinking of you Amy. I am glad you are pain-free and no longer struggling, but I miss you.

One Word Says It All (2015)

Rethink

It’s taken me such a long time to come up with my “one word” for 2015. For me, choosing one area of focus tends to work much better than say going with the average resolutions.

Last year, I chose “Simplicity” which worked pretty well. All of 2014 was dedicated to making things a little easier both around the house and at work. I feel as if I learned a thing or two about my busy life. One, it’s not fun to be busy all the time and no one wins any Brownie points for the glorification of busy. Two, a lot of it I put upon myself. My drummed-up expectation of my working mom self, is what’s messed with me in previous years.  But hey, I never said I was perfect! That said, things are slightly better in that area.

This year, I’ve chosen “Rethink” which sounds like a non-word but it was handed to me during a church service. Seriously, I was sitting there pondering my word and Pastor Rusty George handed it to me on a silver platter during the series titled Fresh Start. If you care to actually listen to the service, you can find it here. He zeroes in on Rethink at 8:48. Technically, he uses the term “Rethink It” but you get the idea.

This word appeals to me on many levels. I am a quick thinker, and in turn, quick to react. This works great for me only half of the time. Often, I will make an immediate decision, and then the weight of that decision will stay with me for days. Not saying it’s always the wrong decision, but my confidence over the decision is sometimes not there after I’ve made it.

Or, something will fly out of my mouth only for me to regret it later. I have trigger mouth. I can control it at work, but not so much at home.

Sadly, this trigger way of thinking also affects my health. Yep, I have Lupus and there are times when I decide to skip my meds for awhile just to see if they are doing anything. Sometimes it takes months for me to feel lousy but I almost always do.

I seem to enjoy tempting fate.

So, although I am still focusing on simplifying my life, I am adding Rethink to the mix. I’ve technically been doing this since the beginning of the year without me noticing it and it’s added a calmness to my otherwise chaotic life. Taking an extra moment to respond or act can sometimes turn a negative into a positive. It comes down to perspective and sometimes to get a clear handle on it, you have to take the time to rethink it.

That’s my plan. To rethink everything before acting. This will apply to me saying “yes” all the time when volunteer opportunities come up. It will apply to my food choices. It will apply to decisions made at work. Basically, to everything. It sounds a little daunting and exhausting but really, it’s a brief moment of reflection and with January almost behind me, I can honestly say that it’s not tough to do.

Hopefully this little bit of mindfulness will help with my simplicity kick too.

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