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Tuesday, November 20, 2018


When I was writing last Thursday's post about attitude making a difference, I thought about my mom. I lost her to breast cancer a couple of years ago now. It doesn't seem that long, but wow, it's coming up on three years. It still feels as if I just lost her.

As I was writing about attitude, I thought about my attitude about her death. The doctor who gave us the terminal prognosis said she had about 6 weeks. We lost her in 6 days. I could have felt angry that I had five weeks taken from me, but I didn't. I was happy that she hadn't suffered and she was suffering, especially at the end. She'd also lost the ability to speak, to walk, to do almost anything the final four days. I know she didn't want to live like that.

I feel blessed that I was with her the night before she passed, holding her hand and talking to her about stories I wanted to write. She was in home hospice at my house, so I was there when she was in extreme pain in the middle of the night and my dad was lost as to what to do. And I was there the following morning when he woke me up and said she was gone.

But when I think back on those last six days, I have two distinct memories. They make me smile, but they're bittersweet.

The first is when we arrived home from the oncologist who had just given us the six week estimate of the time she had left. My mom was in bed, I lay beside her and my dad sat at her side and the three of us talked, we cried, and yes, we even laughed as we shared stories. It was the last time she was able to really hold any conversation. By the next day, speaking had become difficult for her.

The other memory, the one that definitely makes me laugh now involved pancakes. My mom wouldn't eat much of anything those final days, but we were able to get her to eat pancakes. (Loss of appetite is a sign we were told in stage 4 cancer.) It was only one or two small pancakes, but it was food.

My dad starts arguing with her, saying she has to eat something else, that she couldn't only eat pancakes. (I think this goes along with him feeling lost.) I looked at him and I growled, "If she wants pancakes, make her pancakes!"

We were laughing about this recently. He wanted her to eat chicken or something with more protein, but at that point, I was like the important thing is that she eat. It doesn't matter that it's pancakes meal after meal.

Talking about this made me cry--still--but it also made me smile. Pancakes will forever be tied to my mom now.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

One Small Thing Part 2

Tuesday was Part 1 of these two part posts. That was the day I talked about a small thing that irritated me and probably shouldn't have. Today I'm going to talk about a small thing that makes me happy even though it's silly to get so excited about it.

For years, I've always worn black. I like black and it's practical for my job. Need to go to the hangar for something without warning? I'm dressed for it. But I didn't realize how stuck in my rut I had become until I bought something in teal. It was on sale!

Seriously, every time I see the teal color, I smile and feel more lighthearted.

It's ridiculous. Really. I mean what difference does it make? And yet it does make me happy and I look forward to teal days. I think this means it's time buy more colors and get away from black.

Even though it's silly, I also think that life is about small pleasures and we should seek these things out. Attitude makes such a difference and if something can improve one's mood, I say go for it. Going through life, always looking on the bleak side or always creating drama is a tough way to live and, sadly, the people who do this don't even realize they're guilty of it. We create our reality and our reactions to events in life--big or small--affect our mood. And our general happiness.

So even though I posted on Tuesday about something that put my mood on a nosedive, I'm working to not let it bother me. It still is, but I'm working on it. ;-)

Life is tough. I don't want to make it any harder than it already is. It's in the attitude.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

One Small Thing Part 1

I'm planning to write two blog posts about how a small thing can impact your entire day, one in a positive way and the other in a negative way. I'll also add that I believe attitude can change mood either for the better or the worse and will admit readily that I shouldn't allow one small thing to skew my day wrong. However, that is what happened. I'm going to talk about the negative thing and on Thursday, we'll swing positive.

I start my day job extremely early in the morning. Early enough that I can pretty much have my pick of parking on my preferred floor. I've been parking in the same spot over and over since December of 2017 and I've come to think of it as my spot.

Sadly, when I arrived for work Monday morning, someone was parked there already. I parked next to the car, but it threw my day off and left me irritated. I know, right? What a stupid thing to get irritated over! I totally get it.

My irritation only grew when the car hadn't been moved the next day. I work at Tech Ops near the airport. People are not supposed to park in the ramp when they fly, but they do anyway. That's likely what this person did. On day 2 of my irritation, I decided that it wouldn't bother me that much if he'd arrived earlier than me and gotten it fair and square, but to park there while flying when that is against company policy? Totally aggravated me.

Now the question is how many days will he be parked in my spot while on vacation? I'm hoping not very long, but I will try to work on my attitude in the meantime.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Off the Charts

I am a very new knitter. I don't know how long I get to say that because it's been a year and a half, but because of having such a limited time to knit, I haven't completed that many projects yet. I feel like a novice.

One skill I have yet to master is reading a chart inside a pattern. I'm totally written instructions all the way.

And then I hit section 11 of a 12 part pattern.

I thought it would be cables that tripped me up because I'd never knitted those before, but that wasn't what did it. It was the written instructions for the wrong side rows. It basically said to knit the knitted stitches as it faced you and purl the purls.

If the yarn were thicker, maybe this wouldn't have been such a challenge, but the yarn is fine fingering weight. Fiber people know this is thin. And I had a hard time seeing which stitch was which. And I messed up pretty much every wrong side row. Finally, at row 6, I was like this is going to look horrible if I don't get it right. I ripped back all my knitting to the beginning of section 11 and then I started looking at tutorials on how to read charts.

The video tutorial helped a little bit, but I didn't grasp it until I found some excellent written instructions. When I started the section over again, I was able to nail the wrong side rows by reading the chart! Go me!

But I'm struggling to read the right side rows with the repeats. What I'm doing now is knitting the right side from the written instructions and the wrong side from the charts. Next up: Learn to read the right side of a chart with a repeat section.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Halloween Hiding

On Halloween, I usually hide with the lights out and evade trick-or-treaters. My dad lives with me now, though, so I asked him a couple of weeks ago if he was going to hand out candy or hide. He said hide!

This surprised the hell out of me because my parents always handed out candy no matter what and chastised me for hiding with the lights out.

I reminded him that it meant no lights for the entire evening and asked him if he was sure. He said he was.

The night before Halloween--late--he says, maybe we should have bought candy. Since I had no plans to stop to buy candy on my way home from work the following day, I was like, oh, well. To say he was not equipped to deal with hiding out is understating things.

It started out okay. He was making dinner when I got home from work so we could eat early and wouldn't have lights on. Good. That was the last easy moment he had with Halloween hiding.

The highlight, though, was at 7:30. He said, it's dark now, the kids won't come anymore. We can turn on the lights. Um, no. Seriously. Kids trick-or-treat until 9:30 at night. He should know this after handing candy out for so many years. He argued with me briefly, but the lights stayed off.

Twenty minutes later, he wanted to turn the lights on again. Sigh.

My guess is that next year he'll be passing out candy because hiding in the dark seemed to be stressful for him. I don't get that. Stressful is answering the door, but then I'm very introverted and he's an extrovert.