Category Archives: Heartfelt

Relationships, caregiving, animals, self care.

Mom’s Achievements—Pt. 1


If you’ve read my other posts about my battle with Mom regarding her walker, reacher, and trash collection…you’ll appreciate this update—The management at our apartment complex noticed Mom’s dedication to garbage collection and keeping the grounds clean. They honored her with a signed Certificate of Recognition and flowers.

How can I fight with appreciation? I lost this particular battle with Mom and I am happy about it.

Thank you, apartment management—Mom is proud of her contribution to #garbage elimination.



Reflect or Regret? Part 4-Dating Post Divorce



As a silver-haired person, I retain the privileges of Reflection or Regrets. I’ve earned this right through years of trials, temptations, and choices. My journal excerpt—Reflect on Dating.

Being single again is scary, but the dating game was terrifying.

During the twenty-five years of my first marriage the world evolved with Social Media and online dating—I avoided both at first.

People from earlier eras preferred meetings in person, not communicating from a distance. Just like job searches, we walked into stores and requested applications, and obtained one-on-one interviews. The drawback of dating this way is the burden of time constraints.

Even though online dating is a fast track and enlarges the pool of possible dates, it was less comfortable and personable, so that option never appealed to me.

I eventually learned to attend a movie alone, dinner alone, and went camping alone. “Alone” was no longer a horrible feeling, it was liberating. I finally remembered who I was before marriage. I decided my likes and dislikes, my life purposes, and my interests, with no one influencing my choices.

As trust grew in my judgement regarding others, I searched for groups to join—a hiking group, a kayaking group, and a large Single’s group. The thing about groups is the safety in numbers. Others may see a red flag in someone’s behavior that we miss=safety.

My newly single friends and I watched out for each other through the dating process. We learned that we are often attracted to the same personality that we just divorced. Nope, get healthy first, then we can make better choices. One option I enjoyed for self-care was Divorce Care.

Don’t be afraid of change—be liberated for a new and improved future!



Jar Lids, Doorknobs, and Buttons


What do these daily life tools have in common? They require fine motor skills that may be difficult. Other daily life activities are called ADLs.


If we can’t use these simple little items with ease, they grow into a huge wrench of despair and frustration, when we have arthritis or other difficulties.

Jar lid—we just tap it with a knife handle to break the seal, right? Glass jar with metal lid + knife handle + tap + slip= shattered shards. We purchased a jar lid opener. Ours is a rubber gripper and Mom happily uses it. She often states that she doesn’t like feeling helpless.

Buttons—grip + slide into hole + pull= voila! Not if you have arthritis + limited eyesight. We purchase pull on shirts now. Her favorite blouses from years ago are worn as blazers. Mom is “stylin” and always receives compliments on her outfits. She enjoys dressing snazzy and still applies her own makeup using her gooseneck magnifying mirror.

Doorknob—grip + turn, right? Not with lotion on, or arthritic hands. Emergency + slip + stuck door= accidents. Knobs can be replaced with latch type handles requiring no gripping or twisting.


One of the many ways we can help our older loved ones is to provide them with useful tools or fixes for their struggles.

Reflect or Regret? Part 3


As a silver-haired person, I retain the privileges of Reflection or Regrets. I’ve earned this right through years of trials, temptations, and choices. My journal excerpt—Reflect on hope. 


Singleness—After a few decades of marriage, and destruction of the relationship, it ended in divorce. We were relieved and heartbroken.

New life began for me when I joined a Singles group. Being with people with similar life experiences is cathartic. We gave each other hope that life can start over and continue. Most of my post-divorce relationships were formed in that group.

Singles offered classes, workshops, Bible studies, and Divorce Care. Doing all the reading and homework transformed my thoughts about divorce and recovery. I gained hope for my future.

Being single again is scary in general, but more specific—the dating game.

In general, the world changed in twenty-five years. The dynamic of Social Media came into play with online dating. I avoided both for awhile.

I learned to go to a movie alone, go to dinner alone, and go camping alone. Alone was no longer a horrible feeling, it was liberating. I remembered who I was before marriage. I decided what I liked and didn’t like, how I wanted my life to be, and what I wanted to do.

When COBRA for my healthcare neared its end, I knew I needed to change jobs and get a career where I earned enough to live on and had my own benefits. I was self-employed as a muralist and while the pay was nice, I did not have healthcare, it was through my ex-husband’s employer.

Own my own home-saved for three years, my teeth took it all away. Started saving for another three years, purchased my home lived there three years. Seems like three is the number for me. I invited Mom.

Remarriage—Twelve years single, work improvements on myself, and living life as big as I wanted brought me a new man who loves me.

Reflect or Regret? Part 2-Persistence


As a silver-haired person, I retain the privileges of Reflection or Regrets. I’ve earned this right through years of trials, temptations, and choices. My journal excerpt—Reflect on persistence.

Desires and dreams-

In middle school, a friend of mine encouraged me to join Glee Club, where I discovered my love for singing.

At thirteen years-old, I was given my first duet with a friend of mine in a community Christmas Performance at the high school. I completely bombed from stage fright. Our teacher even stopped playing the melody of “We Three Kings” and tapped out ONLY my part. God bless him, but though I heard it clearly, I couldn’t change my horrifying pitch. My friend was humiliated, and sang her part perfectly.

Why didn’t I quit singing after that? I guess I loved it enough to persist. If anyone said any words of wisdom or encouragement, I don’t remember. I kept singing—in several choirs and on a worship team for three years. Singing made my heart and spirit soar like nothing else. Nerves beset me, but never again did stage-fright take me down.

Our high school Art teacher informed us that we couldn’t make any money with art. Reflecting on his comments through an adult’s viewpoint, that was Bitterness talking. One of our assignments was to paint murals in the Art Department hallway. I loved it and painted two.

Eventually, I earned money for thirteen years painting murals, and I am thankful for that. One of my classmates became a world renowned artist. Persist in your passion. Don’t listen to the naysayers, prove them wrong instead.

When I wanted to travel and work overseas, most of my family and friends commented, “It’s too dangerous.” True, there are unsafe countries and governments, I had some experiences that make my skin crawl, when I think of them. Best advice, persist in awareness of and pay attention to your surroundings. Watch everyone, plus keep your documents, or valuables inside your clothes, and don’t put them in any hotel or hostel safes!

One of my dreams was to see the world. Opportunities to live and travel abroad in different cultures are rare as jewels found in the dirt. Persist with your goals. Sixteen countries later, and working overseas for a year, are some of the best experiences and highlights of my life.


Reflect or Regret? Part 1


As a silver-haired person, and I retain the privileges of Reflection or Regrets. I’ve earned this right through years of trials, temptations, and choices. Today’s journal excerpt IMG_3805Regrets.

First marriage-Was very difficult, my kids were hurt from it. I wanted so much better for them…that’s all I have to say about that.

College-My parents and I couldn’t afford it, and I had no discipline, so traveling was my education. I wanted a degree, and tried twice, but didn’t complete it.

Missions-After I developed asthma, and a third trip had a huge dust storm, I became a Global Missionary Online for almost three years.

Illustrator dream-Hired to illustrate Little Known Tales in California History …later, I let someone crush my dreams, and life threw me for a loop. Now, I’ve returned to art once more.


Walker and Reacher


God bless William, Elmer, and Alfred—inventors of the *walker for mobility. IMG_3477

I’m thankful for the one I used for about six months, and for my eighty-eight-year old mom having freedom with hers. I think…

Mom literally walked her first walker’s wheels into shreds, down to the metal. I wished I’d taken a photo. It lasted for over two years.

Evidence-This photo was taken by my husband, who was on Mom watch, when I was at my writing day with friends. It is the new and improved model, designed lighter, easier to maneuver, plus larger and with more substantial wheels for outdoor-walker-hikers. Notice the metal pole standing up out of her basket? Uh huh. Mom discovered where I hid the reacher and sneaks it outside. Sigh. I’ve posted how she was our neighborhood’s self-appointed trash lady for a few years, until she fell. She’s also taken to stashing the trash bags in her room again for trash collection. Notice that this bag is full? I reminded her of her Physician’s Assistant’s orders to NOT pick up the trash. She argued. Heftier sigh.

Mom’s a ten-year old again. She sneaks. She argues. She’s supposed to walk twenty minutes at a time. I’ve caught her out for an hour. When we purchased her new walker, little did I know the future boundary battle we’d be in over her stroll times and trash collection behavior with her reacher. Let me say this, I do understand her need for exercise and not sitting all day. She says she needs a purpose, too. Yes.

I am also happy to give Mom kudos for now sticking to ONLY walking in our apartment complex. Everyone knows her, she’s nearby, and she’s armed with her Bay Alarm pendant around her neck.

Urgent question—Anyone know how to successfully be the boss of your mom?


*A walker or walking frame is a tool for disabled or elderly people who need additional support to maintain balance or stability while walking. In the United Kingdom, a common equivalent term for a walker is Zimmer frame, a genericised trademark from Zimmer Holdings, a major manufacturer of such devices and joint replacement parts.

Walkers started appearing in the early 1950s. The first US patent was awarded in 1953 to William Cribbes Robb, of Stretford, UK, for a device called “walking aid”, which had been filed with the British patent office in August 1949.[1] Two variants with wheels were both awarded US patents in May 1957,[2][3] and the first non-wheeled design that was called a “walker” was patented in 1965 by Elmer F. Ries of Cincinnati, Ohio.[4] The first walker to resemble modern walkers was patented in 1970 by Alfred A. Smith of Van Nuys, California.[5]  (Wikipedia)


Trash Collector-Part 2


Walking outdoors is Mom’s main love. (Yes, I know, I encouraged the treadmill idea. She detests treadmills.) Her trash collecting mission branched off of her love for green and clean living. She is an original environmental protector at eighty-eight-years old.

On a mission one day, Mom fell into the gutter. Concrete gutter. Head first.

A couple driving past, saw her and stopped. They helped her up and offered to drive her home. Mom said no. Our address and my phone number are inside her walker, but went unnoticed and forgotten.

Mom arrived home with a bump on her head. She said she didn’t see any stars or pass out, just felt stupid. Well, I was relieved, but upset.

We related the incident to her doctor’s office. No damage, except a lump on her forehead. They instructed no more reaching and trash collecting for my eighty-seven-year-old. Mom is also supposed to walk only twenty minutes, instead of one hour. Sigh.

I took away her beloved trash collecting mission. I hid her metal reacher. Mom tries to sneak the garbage bags out. Just today, I found her with one at our front door. She actually pouted and stamped her foot when I said, “No, no, no. No more. Just look up instead of down, so you won’t see the trash.” Mom was mostly joking, when she had her tantrum.

It’s uncomfortable being my Mom’s mom.