Friday, December 15, 2017

What does for better, for worse mean?

November 24, 1997, was our 25th wedding anniversary.  Anyone who has been married that long usually has questions and reflections about their relationship.  

Over the years, there were moments when I wondered if we would make it another year.  Although our relationship was strong, the circumstances we endured over the course of those years were horrendous.  Our lives were battered, often bruised, and broken more times than I can count.  Yet, we survived.  Yes, we grew stronger.  But as some people have said, "I'd take weakness over all the struggles you had to endure to make you stronger."

When you start your life together as a couple, you concentrate on a bright future.  You talk about all the hopes and dreams you have together and individually.  When trials come, you work through them -- together.  Rarely does anyone anticipate that almost every year would bring a major trauma into your lives.  But, in our case, that is what happened. 

The purpose of writing my memoir was to be an encouragement and to offer hope to anyone going through any type of battle.  It was written as an unforgettable story of survival in novel format.  But, it is also a love story.

Two years prior to our 25th anniversary my husband, Paul, was in a car accident rendering him disabled for the rest of his life.  In addition to many other complications, he suffered brain damage which resulted from a blood clot in his brain that was inoperable.  It meant he would be in constant pain and there was nothing that could change that.  The medication cocktails the doctors gave him caused his personality to fluctuate from being a vegetable who had to be spoon fed all the way to being a raving maniac, who terrified me.  I never knew what to expect or how long I would be able to tolerate it.  With the help of nutrition, we were able to regulate his symptoms and help him to live a normal life -- but with constant and severe head pain.

On our anniversary in 1997, we were living in a town roughly two hours from the nearest city. Instead of asking me to drive him, Paul took transit to the city for a doctor's appointment.  I had absolutely no idea what his actual agenda was for that day.  He was on a mission.  He wanted 25 long-stemmed yellow roses to gift me for our anniversary. 

It was November and yellow roses were in limited supply.  He spent several hours traveling by taxi to find 25 roses.  Each store only had a few.  He was determined to give me Roses Only.  Why yellow?  He knew that yellow roses were a symbol of friendship but more importantly, optimism.  He wanted to give me the message that things would get better.  And......that he loved me and appreciated my sticking by him through all those years.

When he gave me those beautiful roses that evening, words would not come out of my mouth.  Instead, tears rolled down my cheeks as it was obvious my husband was in extreme pain from the events of the day but he was so excited to present this gift to me.

I still have those roses.  They are sitting on my mantle where I see them every day.  They are a symbol of his love and friendship.

In time, his condition improved.  In fact, he improved so much we were able to open a new business and get back on our feet financially.  Then, it happened.  Five years ago, he was in another accident which jarred his brain to the point of reversing any improvement he had attained.  In both instances, his car was standing still and both were entirely the other person's fault.  The struggle has been greater these past five years because he is 20 years older.  It has taken a toll in many ways but we are still together.

It has been over forty-five years ago that I met the man I would spend the rest of my life with - for better or for worse.  For $100 we bought the wedding package from the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.  It included a chauffeur driven limo to the courthouse to get our license, the cost of the license, the trip back to the Chapel, the chaplain, flowers, music, a witness, a cassette tape of the ceremony and pictures.  I'd say it was a good investment, wouldn't you?

Friday, December 8, 2017

What Would You Like Your Superpower to Be?

In a monthly blogging challenge called Secret Subject Swap, I was asked this question:  "You think your neighbors have secret superpowers.  Do you spy on them?  Bribe them?  Become friends with them?"

This is extremely difficult for me to answer because I have never enjoyed fantasy - of any type.  I don't watch it on TV and I don't read books written in that vein.  You get the picture.  I am a realist by nature and practical in all areas of my life.  So I struggled with this question.

However, as an interviewer on my radio show, I have learned how to ask questions.  Hubby says I can go into a room of 25 strangers and in less than an hour I know each of their life stories.  That's just it -- I love true life stories.  Always have.

But the challenge is that I must answer the question - so here's my best shot.  I can be sneaky.  I worked for a detective agency in my youth and learned a trick or two about finding out the truth.

Most definitely I would become friends with them.  I would find ways to set them up to either reveal their powers to me or put them in a position that they would be required to use those powers.  I hopefully would ask the right questions and possibly offer scenarios for them to submit suggestions to me.  

This is so far out of my comfort zone I can barely wrap my head around it.  Maybe I need to watch a movie about someone with superpowers, or read a book, or watch a TV show.....but that won't be happening anytime soon.

You are a superpower

On June 24, 1977, my husband and I stood in line for hours to see the very first Star Wars movie.   It was the midnight showing and everyone was pretty excited.  I fell asleep ten minutes into the movie and never saw another one.  As a kid, it was fun to pretend that I had powers like Superman but now...I just don't get the hype.

Star Wars

However, if I was asked what superpower I would like for myself......that's a different story.  I would want to go FASTER.  I drive fast, eat fast, talk fast, move fast so if I could fly - that would help.

Another one would be to have x-ray vision.  Think of all the sealed documents you could see with your magic eyes.  Better yet.....the ability to see what is really in someone's heart or brain.  Now THAT would be awesome.  Guess I will have to depend on my five senses for now.

For the Secret Subject Swap, my question was submitted by who is a book reviewer.  I am sure she would love you to check out her website.

The other bloggers in this challenge will be answering a variety of secret subject questions this month so grab a cup and enjoy the read:

Baking In A Tornado
Cognitive Script
The Blogging 911
The Lieber Family Blog
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
Bookworm in the Kitchen
Part-Time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, November 17, 2017

Do You Need To Speed Up or Slow Down?

Every time I think things will start to slow down, they seem to speed up.  Why is that?  Maybe it is because I have more jobs than I can count on one hand and it is pure craziness.  Someday......I'll slow down but not anytime soon.  When I think of the alternatives, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Nitestar JewelersAs of this weekend, we are opening the doors to our new store.  But, in my craziness I forgot to take pictures so will post them next month.  Something really interesting is that people who are walking in/by to say "Hi" are commenting that they had no idea we had such a variety of art.  In our last store, it was displayed on the walls behind the jewelry showcases.  In the new store -- part of the store is set up as a gallery - and all the work is done by local artists.  
Nitestar Galleries

Nitestar Galleries 


A close friend of mine who used to live in our town moved away fifteen years ago and I have not seen her for seven years.  I miss her terribly and she surprised me this month with a quick visit passing through town on her way back from California.  It is wonderful to visit with old friends -- you have history and that cannot be replaced.

Major Highlight of the month/year

My daughter, Rochelle, has not been able to visit us at our home for years.  Her hubby works away from home about three weeks out of the month.  She can't leave her property because of all her animals unless I am there to take care of them for her.  Consequently, she does not visit here.  

Reason to celebrate:  Son-in-law has moved home.  It meant closing his business up north and setting up a new one at home but now he can be with his family every day.  It is quite the adjustment and the kids are ecstatic to have daddy home.

So..........she was able to visit us for four days.  That was FOUR DAYS with my grands.  Every moment was so enjoyable -- cooking for them, playing with them, babysitting them so mom could have a break seeing old friends.  They cried when they had to leave and it touched my heart.  I trust there will be many more weekends they can stay at gramma's house.

Grand kids
Set up a special kids table
so Papa could play Lego with them

I have shared many stories on this blog about how kind and thoughtful six-year-old William is and how much he adores his little sister.  But, one of the funniest and sweetest stories I have heard in a long time was something he did last week.

He is taking boxing lessons in a large class of six to sixteen-year-olds.  During their regular relays and workouts, the kids are teamed up.  Last week, they were running around the track and Rochelle noticed how slowly William was running.  She yelled, "Run, William, run!"  

In a loud voice, he shouted back and everyone heard, "I am running slow so Jason (who is nine) can keep up.  He always loses and I want him to win this time!" 

While the kids were here, I 'caught' them often cuddling on the sofa or floor.  One morning William said, "Brie, I love you, little sister, more than anything."  

"Why are you crying, Gramma?"  If he only knew!


Rochelle brought one of her dogs who is a recent rescue.  She didn't want him to stay back home with the rest of the clan.  He blended right into our carpet!

Rescue dog

This has been a Fly on the Wall monthly blogging challenge where several bloggers share what happened in their lives this past month.  Pour a cup and enjoy the other stories here:

Friday, November 3, 2017

Would You Give Up Social Media for Money?

What amount of money would it take to entice you to give up social media for a year?  That question was posed to me and after thinking about it for 30 seconds I couldn't think of any amount of money that would entice me.  I would give it up without any problem.

However, this question did make me think about what I accomplish on social media and why it would be easy to give up.

Friday, October 20, 2017

What Do You Do if a Power Surge Blows Up Your Computer?

ChristmasWhat would your response be to this statement?  "I have all my Christmas shopping and wrapping done."  When I told my daughter, she smiled and said, "Of course you do, Mom."

I enjoy buying throughout the year when there is a sale of the item I need.  Even more fun is wrapping everything as soon as I bring it home.  I keep a hidden list so I know what I bought and how much I spent but, then I forget the majority of it.  When the gifts are opened I get excited all over again.  I know, I know, it's a small pleasure but I love it!

kids wrapping gifts
Mostly excited about gifts wrapped from the grands

It's been a month of finalizing the renovations on the new store.  What we expected to take a couple weeks has turned into seven weeks.  BUT WHAT A JOB hubby and his buddy have done.  They did all the work themselves and it is over-the-top beautiful and unique.

Our store will be divided into four parts.  You enter into a small showroom then walk down a long, wide hall which is an art gallery.  The gallery will have art done by our local artists including paintings, masks, huge carvings, etc.  Then you will enter the main showroom which then leads into my office and spa space.

The idea is to make it an experience for everyone who comes into the new store.  Several times a month, when we were in our old store, new clients would comment that we had the nicest store on the coast.  It was a hole compared to this one.  Saying all that to say this, we are excited and so happy to be out of the last rat-infested one.  Sad that the landlord would not address the problem after we had been there for 11 years.  Read that story here.


Took forever the find the proper spotlights (96 of them) to showcase everything beautifully.

Also difficult to find the slate gray flooring to match the shelving and walls.

We should be ready to move in by the end of the month. YAY!

After months of severe drought and heat, we now are into our rainy season with high winds.  This is always a concern when you live in the center of a forest.  True to the season's charm of falling trees, we lost power for a few hours yesterday.

Amazing the things you can find to do when you have no electricity.  I decided to move furniture and clean under and behind.  Found a few little trinkets I had not known I lost.  I have protection on my computers in case of power surges with a 30-minute grace period giving me time to shut down everything properly.  BUT, when the power came back on, it blew one of my monitors.  Didn't think that would happen with all the security I have.

broken monitor

Even though my unit is five years old, I thought it was worth a shot to call APC.  SURPRISE -- they are replacing the backup unit and my monitor.  How great is that!  Worth the time to make the call!

No Fly on the Wall post would be complete without pictures of the grands.  William turns six tomorrow and he is still (as my dad would say) 'the best kid in the bunch.'  As his little sister is almost two, their interaction and admiration for each other are more amazing every day.

kids napping
Nap time

walking in woods
Where is brother hiding?

pumpkin patch
Hello Autumn

summer walk
Good-bye summer

Please check out my fellow bloggers' posts to share a smile or a laugh

Baking In A Tornado
Menopausal Mother
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Bookworm in the Kitchen
The Blogging 911