Friday, September 19, 2014

It's a Bugs Life After All ...



Oh Lord ...
I have to say that I have never,
ever,
seen as many bugs and creepy, crawly things
as I have seen since moving to Southern California.
Upon setting foot in the yard of our house
the evening we arrived  here in Long Beach...
Patrick looked down and saw a snake.
OK,  just a garden snake, but a snake none the less.
Ewww ... 
I yelled and Morgan jumped,
we ran for the door and found safety in the house.
Maybe that little snake was the neighborhood welcoming committee.
Thankfully, we have not seen a snake since that evening.
We quickly found out however that our home was infested with 
creatures of every other kind.
Spiders,
loads and loads of spiders.
Not just little ones, but big, huge spiders.
Just the other evening I went out to the back patio with the dogs,
I looked down and saw a web near the bottom of the house.
Then I saw "IT" ...
the owner of the web.
She was black and on her belly she had a big red spot.
WHAT ... a black widow in my yard at my feet.
Thank God for hard bottomed shoes,
I stepped on her ... over and over again,
even though I knew she was dead, I just had to make sure.
Whew, one less spider to worry about, but not the 1st Black Widow we have seen here.
Then there are the Lizards!
Every size ... and they are fast little buggers.
I watch them safely from inside the family room while they run up and down the brick wall
between our house and the neighbors.
I don't mind them because I hear they eat bugs,
but I don't want them in my house.  Morgan found a baby lizard in her shower one morning,
and very bravely killed that little sucker.
I sure wish they'd eat all those ugly Black Widow spiders.
Centipedes ... Crickets ... Cockroaches
all those "C" bugs.
Where the heck do they come from, and why are there so many of them here?
Cockroaches,  I've never had them in my house in my life, 
 ummm .. until I moved here. 
 I called an exterminator immediately when we figured out what they were.                                            I said "can you get here in half an hour" ... "nope, but I can be there tomorrow" ... "you mean I have to sleep in this house with those bugs here".  We survived the night, not without nightmares though.
The exterminator came out right on time ...
he says to me,                                                                                                         "it's not your house, it's plenty clean, these roaches come up through the drains".
Uggg ... does that mean I might see them again?
Well ... maybe, but probably not for a year or so ... of course it's been a year,
so I guess it's time to spray again.
We literally live right across the street from the river bed, granted it's a cement river bed, but every single strange creature that could exist, does exist in that river bed.
It isn't a very big hike for them to cross the street.
Skunks, Coyotes, Squirrels, Snakes, Rats, Mice, Possums and Bugs                             (including roaches and spiders)                                                                                   and the list goes on and on.
No one told me about the bugs ...
I still would have moved here, but man, I would have thought twice about living near a river bed.
This might explain by the way why I don't go camping,
Bugs and Tania ... we don't mix well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Never As Easy As It Should Be ...


Life that is ... it's never as easy as it should be.
I used to blog about only good things, and about the things that made me happy.
Now it seems whenever I come to my blog to type a new post I am lost.
Lost you say ...
maybe it's just scattered ...
why you might ask ... 
 Because,
I always have a millions things running through my head.
I typically haven't been sleeping well.
I am usually in pain because of my Achilles Tendon Issues.
This Peri-menopause stuff is CRAP, CRAP, CRAP.
Hot-flashes are the worst!
Money always seems hard to find, while the bills are never ending.
I'm still waiting to hear from my attorney on the status of probate,
which might I add has been open and going on for over 2-1/2 years now.
There are diet's to contend with,
and doctors appointments.
Just when you fix one thing something new comes up.
There are family issues,
kid issues ...
friend issues ... 
it's never ending it seems,
and
 there are even the occasional relationship issues.
Working on a new relationship can send everyone into a bad place.
It seems we can never make every one happy.
Just when you think you've figured it all out
something new comes up.
What everyone needs to remember is that ... 
WE are only HUMAN.
We are in love ... 
We want a life together.
We want that life to include all of "our" people.
We are not trying to hurt, segregate, or disown anyone,
we want to see all our people happy, 
living the lives that make them the happiest.
When our people are happy, we are happy.
You must allow us to live our lives as well though,
knowing that every day will bring something new and perhaps challenging for us.
Everyone is entitled to a bit of happiness in life,
 it is so hard to find, so when you do,
 you need to grab hold with everything you've got in you and hang on for dear life.
Working on all life's challenges together ...
making the best of the things life throws at us on a daily basis.

Change ...
It can be a good thing, so let it happen and join us for the ride.

Happiness they say, sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Home ... It Builds You

 Once upon a time I lived in a house on a street in Norwich, CT.
I moved into that house when I married Brian.
It was my first home in a marriage, I had always lived in rentals in my previous marriage.
This house was a happy place.
We loved our neighbors, The Sheehan's, and they loved us right back, in fact when we moved they did everything in their power to try and get us to stay.

 When Brian passed away I wondered how I would be able to stay in this home,
our family home.


When it became apparent that I could not stay in the home,  I listed it on the market at what we thought was a fair price, $199,900.   Months later when we had no action, we dropped the price to $179,900.  Still no buyers, so we dropped it again, this time to a price very close to what Brian owed on the mortgage, $159,000.  Nothing and more nothing. 


 It became clear as the months went on that I would need to leave the home, so after weighing the pros and cons I decided to pack it up, clean it out, throw away years of treasures and move to California.  Start over, start fresh and see what life had to offer.  The attorney said, stop paying the mortgage, we'll get a deed in lieu of foreclosure, no penalties for me, I never owned it.


 Done and done, probate approved my handing it back to the bank and that was it.  Brian's house, our home was no longer mine.  The bank went in and fixed it up a bit, and upon my snooping on Zillow the house is finally pending sale, it's going for even less then I was asking.


 New paint, sanded floors, and even new rugs.
More than I could afford to do for it.


The new family will fall in love with it I hope.
They will make it their home, and like Brian be proud to own it.
They will only know how much he loved his home when they meet Mark and Beth, who I know will surely pass on the stories we filled it with.


 They will cook in my kitchen, and perhaps they will hear echoes of me saying how much I hated the ugly brown tile walls, and how I thought it was too small and old fashioned, but will they know how many delicious meals I turned out there.  I hope so.


 It cleaned up nice, but gosh, I hope the new owners eventually strip that tile off the walls and give it a fresh new look.  I still think that tile is ugly.


 Morgan loved her bedroom, she loved the fan and new light fixture we had put in for her, and she loved that her room looked out on the street.  It was her quiet place.  She cried when we left that room for the last time (shh, don't tell her but I cried too).  I'm hoping she'll always remember the good memories there, I know though that she will never forget the ghosts, oh yes, our home was haunted.


 My bedroom, well it never looked like this when I lived there.  A dusky blue rug, with blue trim around the doors and windows.  It was large and comfortable, but I always wished it had been in the front of the house and not the back.  


 I remember when I moved in thinking it was odd that there was a small room off the bedroom with my closet.  I found out quickly it was meant to be a baby nursery.  We left the cow border up the whole 12 years, it always made me smile.


 The spare room, next door to Morgans bedroom, was always called the bunny room.
It had a bunny rabbit border up when I moved in.  The walls were green and it felt meant for a small child.  Morgan loved the room, and when we had "live in" guests like Joe or my mom when she came to visit, they always used this room.  I'll never forget the day Brian fell through the attic eaves into the ceiling of this room, he wasn't hurt, so we had the hole patched and then had a great story to tell to guests.


 The house had a full walk up attic, two rooms, one originally a bedroom though not used as such while we lived there and one for storage.  I like what the bank did with it ... rugs and new walls sure make it seem more comfortable.


Finally, the back enclosed patio.  Beautiful blue stones and a working fireplace.  I spent many a day back there reading and we had many bbq's there as well.
For as much as I complained that I wanted to sell this home and move to a warmer, smaller place, I have many good memories there as well.
It was my home,
It was Brian's home
and 
It was Morgan's home.
I hope and pray a good family will buy it and build wonderful memories there too.

The following pictures were taken in front of our home after we shut the front door and locked it behind us never to enter again.  Morgan put on a brave face but there were plenty of tears shed, because no matter how many times you complain about a place, you cannot erase the good times you had there. May they always be memories we carry within our hearts.





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Charles Henry ...

Today this man would have been
90
years old.


Happy Birthday
to my
Dad
in 
Heaven.
He was born July 8th, 1924
the 2nd son 
to 
William and Bertha Jane
in
East St. Louis Illinois.


He married my mother
Pauline 
on August 21, 1954.
They had 3 children
Debra,
Sandra,
and
Tania.


My dad passed away young in 1974
at the age of 50.
He wasn't in my life for long,
but he left me with 
sweet, sweet, memories.
He was a strong, loving, giving,
soul.
I sure wish he could have 
met his grandchildren
Morgan
and
Nicholas.
I miss him 
and 
know that he is 
smiling down from heaven on 
his family
every
single 
day.
We may not be able to see him,
but he is with us in our thoughts always.



These Things Make Me Smile ...


Unexpected Flowers from my guy!


Trivia Tuesday's at Malarkey's in Long Beach!


Time spent with my silly, funny, Brown Eyed Girl Morgan!


26 Miles across the sea, SANTA CATALINA is waiting for me!


Our Puppy Girl "Raisin".


Southern California Sunsets.


Breakfast at Woody's Diner on the weekends.


Time spent with my guy Patrick!


Monday, May 26, 2014

We Moved You Know ...


3000
Miles Away
From Connecticut
All the way
to
CALIFORNIA!



Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to run with it you know!
I chose to run with it ...
Morgan chose to run with it as well ...
and here we are.
I loved my home in Connecticut.
I love my family and miss them every single day.
Morgan misses Connecticut and her family as well.
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about our "people" there.
We think about the back roads we used to go for drives on just because.
We think about the crazy weather, hot and cold and muggy and snowy.
We think about our first "Harry's Burger" of the season every year.
We think about our weekends in Maine.
We think about Mystic Village and our favorite shop there.
We think about having breakfasts at "The Shack".
and how could I ever forget 
My favorite chili dogs at Saints.
We think about all the memories we created there.
We think about the people we lost and buried there.
We wonder ever single day if we made the right choice when we moved here to California.
It's different ...
It's never going to be our Connecticut.
We don't expect it to be.
We are looking forward to all the new memories we'll make here in California.
We know it's been hard for our family and friends to have us so far away.
We miss you and we know you miss us too ....
but life throws us curve balls sometimes
and you either stand there and get hit or you run with it.
We will see you all again when we can.
Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even next month ...
but when we can and we hope you'll all remember we'd love to make new memories
with you here in California when you come to visit us.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Randomness ...


One day in conversation a long time ago, my daughter mentioned that she felt like her dad doesn't know her very well.  I thought about that for a moment and realized she was probably right.  Now in his defense, she hasn't lived with him since she was 3 years old, and then he moved back to Northern Maine, which changed their visiting relationship due to location. Could he have tried harder to know more about her,  probably yes ... who knows though, maybe he thinks he knows quite a bit.  I don't see that relationship changing much however, since she now lives on the opposite coast from him.  I have lived with her since she was born, and I feel like I know her quite well, though I am positive that things change every single day so she keeps me on my toes.
Then I thought to myself,  I wonder how much people know about me.  I like to think I'm semi-private when it comes to "letting people in" or "letting them get close".  It's not that I don't like people, I do, but I have always been a bit shy until I know you well, so people see me as a hard cookie to crack.

Here are some things you might want to know about me for future reference.

1.  I'm the 3rd of 3 girls in my family.
2.  I'm the tallest of my sisters peeking at 5'11".
3.  I was born in Connecticut.
4.  I lived in California for 11 years when I was younger.
5.  I moved back to Connecticut when I was 17 years old.
6.  I have been married 2 times.
7.  I was divorced one time and widowed one time.
8.  I have one daughter.
9.  My favorite color is Green.
10.  I love the ocean.
11.  My favorite food is probably pasta with Italian sausage and spicy sauce.
12.  I am afraid of snakes and birds.
13.  I do not attend church, though I consider myself religious in my beliefs.
14.  I have never smoked a cigarette or "other".
15.  My mom had Alzheimers.
16.  I do not swim well.
17.  My father died when I was very young.
18.  I love Frozen Yogurt, but not ice-cream.
19.  I love to cook and bake.
20.  My favorite flowers are Peonies.
21.  I fear time passing to quickly.
22.  I am deathly afraid of fire.
23.  I don't like roller-coasters.
24.  I have driven across country 3 times in my life so far.
25.  I HATE GUNS.
26.  I consider myself pretty liberal.
27.  My favorite state is Maine.
28.  I have never traveled out of the country beyond Canada.
29.  I love Motown music.
30.  When I was little I wanted to become an Architect.
31.  I collect old "Menu's".
32.  I don't care for Seafood.
33.  I love to read.
34.  I used to scrapbook like crazy.
35.  I recently moved back to the West Coast.
36.  I need to find a job.
37.  I wish I had gone to college.
38.  My biggest and best contribution to this world has been my daughter Morgan.
39.  I have a hard time tolerating rude people.
40.  My birthday is WAY to close to Christmas.
41.  I have never used "drugs" other than those prescribed to me by my doctors.
42.  I hate scary movies.

Just me ... hoping you've learned something new and challenging you to share some things about yourself that might surprise people.