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Life In General

Goings On Behind The Picket Fence

I realized today that it’s been seven months since I last posted.   Life behind the picket fence keeps on keeping on- time stops for no-one.

I’m not going to detail the last half a year – but kind of recap that which has kept me from doing the very thing that is so important – chronicling, questioning, inquiring about – those experiences that make me who I am today.   Sometimes I think I’m a typical “boomer” and at other times, think my expieriences are “a-typical”.  At times my whole life seems “non-traditional”.

The biggest thing is that I am continually challenged? overwhelmed? boggled?  at the mental health issues that plague my son and daughter and one of my grandsons.   All three suffer from anxiety disorders; my son and daughter from PTSD from various and multiple sources; my son from Bipolar Disorder I, my grandson from Schizo-effective disorder and very possibly Schizophrenia. My daughter also has all her life had a jepordized auto-immune system and a continual stream of related health issues in addition to dealing as (for all intents and purposes) a single parent with an 18-year old child with mental illness (since being diagnosed at 6).

I bring this up as since I last posted my grandson’s psychotic episodes and aggressiveness have escalated, my daughter’s health remains at a point both physically and emotionally that she has not been able to work in a year and her state disability was done last fall.  Her health care team acknowledge that she should be on permanent disability but none will step up and do the documentation.  My grandson also requires for the most part 24/7 supervision and she has been unable to find resources for respite care.   She is getting married in September – I worry about what will happen with her health care because she is on MediCal right now with no income.

My son, who has been living with me for the last three years, is having difficulty finding viable employment but at least has gone back to school to re-purpose his accounting degree.  He will hopefully start work with a non-profit organization that manages grants for mental health care centers in California under MediCal when their fiscal year starts in July. He is seeing a therapist fairly regularly but is starting to have panic attacks again.  My son is on MediCal also because of no income.

These are my children – 42 and 46 years old.  Lives in chaos through no choosing of their own.  How does a parent cope with that? One day at a time.

I worry about my employment right now – after two years of being well above my sales goals at work, this year is tanking in the markets that I am responsible for – the first “trimester” was awful, second “trimester” hopefully will end ok – but anxiety is definitely there.

Upside – I had planned on moving in July when my apartment lease was up – my ex lost his tenant in February and offered me to rent his 2-bedroom townhouse at enough less that it was an offer I couldn’t refuse – and he kindly bought my lease out for me. We’ve known each other almost 10 years – were married for five – and have finally figured out, I think, that we make better “friends” than spouses – we get along fine, do things together (went to Hawaii for a week with his daugher, son in law and grand daughter) – BUT BACK TO THE TOWNHOUSE – I helped him pick out this little townhouse when he bought it 5 years ago with the thought that when we didn’t want to do stairs any more we would live here.   It’s nice to have this little sanctuary to come home to now – half the commute, more space, a little tiny yard – space for my son and I until he hopefully some day can live on his own again.

So while we never know what is going on with people behind their picket fence, life behind mine is busy, hectic, at times chaotic, but enough peaceful that I can only say it could be worse.  And now that I’ve broken the “writers block” if no more than for my own journaling and/or purging, I’ll sort it all out here.

Cleansing breath –

Namaste – I honor you – all my friends who live their own brand of normal behind their picket fence.

Itty Bitty

Life In General

The Art of Being Boomer-licious

Heaven knows there area  gazillion different products out there all promising to make you look young and more – but I’m always curious as to what my friends say what products really works for them!  I’ve removed their last names for their privacy, but the comments come straight off of my Facebook page and status posting!

STATUS:    To all my Boomer-licious Ladies of a “certain age” – I would love and appreciate your opinion of what your favorite products are when it comes to SKIN CARE and MAKE UP and why –

I want to do a blog on this subject but I’m not particularly happy with the products I use. At our age, this is IMPORTANT STUFF!

Maggie says:   I have rosacea. I use Zenmed products. Mail order only. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Not tested on animals.  The makeup I use is Bare Minerals. Most liquids are horrible. Plus my skin is much dryer than in my younger days. I use to have oily skin.

Kit says:  I use Bare Minerals makeup too and do not have issues with it settling. I also use and LOVE MaryKay’s Serum C for hydrating my skin in daytime. Good old Ponds Cold Creme for night skin care. My Grandmother used it and had the softest skin into her 90s…

Maggie responded: I don’t have settling problems. My sister had to stop using it because of that. My neighbor (84) uses Bare Minerals and love it.

Cheryl E. says: I have been using Mary Kay for 10 years…but then I sell it…

So I asked Cheryl E. what does she personally like about Mary Kay skin care/make up?

Cheryl E. responded: I am partial because I sell it.  .I have an every day routine with the repair and replenish line for older adults…I am a firm believer in washing your face every day and taking off your makeup….what will age you quicker than anything you can think of, the elements that we deal with every day…a little cleanser goes along way, moisturize and take the makeup off your eyes….I could go on and on…..the older we get the more expensive it gets to look good.

Kit said: Cheryl, what is your take on Serum C? I do love it. I am 60.

Cheryl B said: I use Lancome and have tried Dr. Pericone products.The cleansing and moisturizers are great for the skin. The only thing that doesn’t help in the wrinkles under chin from losing weight…Keeps skin youthful.

Laura  says:  I use Nerium – and love it! It erases wrinkles – tightens around eyes and mouth.

Amy says:  Historically I have been using mostly Mary Kay products, their newer line for the aging skin is fabulous. The serum stuff totally removes my neck wrinkles. It is called Volu-firm I think. Also, I recently began using Wash cloths from Norwex. This too is magic stuff. They work with warm water and all I do is wash my face (and my entire body in the shower) with warm water and the cloth and I’m telling you, I have had little to no breakouts and my skin is much more smooth. No product, just warm water with their magical cloths. Talk about saving time and money!

Cheryl E says:  I use the whole (Mary Kay) repair line as shown…its the best by far….have you tried the newest piece Amy Burnham Revealing Radiance facial peel….it just became available…ask your consultant about it…

Susan says:  When it comes to facial product I go to Tj maxx great products on a budget price mostly use products with retinol in it cause I need all the help I can get .I change up the products but I highly recommend it for someone on  a budget they have all different products…

Angelina says:  Great subject Marie! Vitamin E on my face before bed and Oil of Olay in the morning before makeup! My mom used Ponds and she had beautiful skin with very minimal wrinkles. The key is moisture.

Cheryl E says:  I honestly think wrinkles are inherited genetics, some of us will have them some won’t…but you can attempt to combat them early in life by having a good skin care routine…smoking and dry weather will dry your skin out faster than anything else….

Katy says:  I used a skin care system called M-Rejuvinate from Momentis. MLM, so mail order, but works like nothing I’ve ever seen! Now to find money enough to reorder. (I won’t do auto-ship.)

Reba says:  I use Aveeno daily moisturizer with SpF. don’t wear makeup. wear peppermint lip balm from peppermint jim. lipstick queen lipstick.

Mary Kathryn says: Bare minerals settled and made wrinkles and pores more evident. I have sensitive skin and I’m still looking. Aveeno had me peeling within 2 hours. Right now using honey for cleansing but would love to find a moisturizer

Nina says:  Bare minerals for sure but not the powder, the foundation in the tube with their amazing brush applicator. Couldn’t live without their Skinlogistics, absolutely amazing. Aveeno daily gentle scrub, Neutrogena hydrator, Skinlogistics and then a moisturizer. I look like I’m 54! It’s unbelievable! Wait, I am 54. But seriously, Skinlogistics is the bomb

Laurie says:  I still love my Mary Kay. They have an awesome new peel that does wonders. I love their makeup as well as it is noncomedogenic & the only one I have ever tried that doesn’t make me break out (even at my age )

Cheryl E says: Love the peel, not sure why they call a peel, cause you wash it off remember the old masks where they lifted off….

Lyn says:  Rodan & Fields! Absolutely fabulous and easy to use! As for makeup, I love and use Youngblood mineral makeup!

Linda Leigh says: 39 years now with Mary Kay…Great age fighting…awesome selection of foundations…

Yvonne says:  I’m all about Philosophy body scrub, wash and body cream. Same here with bare minerals makeup, Lancome mascara. For my face I use Prai, no animal testing, reasonable and works wonderfully! I need a new perfume.. does anyone remember Anne Klein II perfume. For some reason they took it off the market and I haven’t found a substitute yet!

 

Brenda says:  I love all of the Philosophy products and they have amazing lip gloss too. I use Tarte Makeup because I have oily skin. I used to use a Mary Kay bronzer that I just loved but they quit making the beads. I will have to try their peel. Just started using Rodan & Fields eye cream and thinking of using their products…hearing great stuff about it.

Leslie says:  LaMer products ❤

Linda says:  I’ve made my own vitamin cream since 1980. It is a combination of Retinal (vitamin A), C,D,E, and aloe. I’m fair and often burn myself with the curling iron. This cream moisturizes and keeps me from scarring. A friend used it for diaper rash on her twins and said it works great. So guess it is good for both ends! Lol. I’m retired now and don’t mess with makeup any more.

Elizabeth says: I’m all about Bare Minerals. Perfection.

So there you have it … from every day Boomerlicious Ladies!  Summary?  Bare Minerals, Mary Kay … Philosophy … Clean, moisturize, make up ….  lots of water, wash, enjoy your genes and heridity.  What’s your favorite skin care and make up regime?  Let us hear it!

 

So for me? I think it’s time to go back to Bare Essentials (Bare Minerals) and still looking for that “toner” that brightens and lightens dark spots, and a cool moisterizer to minimize those laugh lines and neck wrinkles.
Thank you, EVERYONE! For your input!
Namaste – I honor the beauty in each of you!
Itty Bitty.
Life In General

A Day In The Life Of …

Wednesday – one of those days I never thought would end …

Not me, but how I felt ...
Not me, but how I felt …

7:00 AM – pick up daughter who is on disability due to uncontrolled lucid seizures among other things, and drop her off at Department of Human Assistance so she can figure out why her food allowance for her and her son was discontinued.  The notice she received indicated she earned too much.  On State disability? With a special needs teenager?

8:45 AM – first meeting of the day at work – sales staff stuff.

9:30 AM – second meeting of the day – touring two clients around the hotel for a conference this fall

10 AM – leave work (early lunch) to go pick up daughter and take her home

12 PM – 1:30 PM – second day of a two-day virtual training at my desk

1:30 – 5 PM – follow up on pending business, sales phone calls, normal things I normally due through a full day

5:30 PM – meet up with soon to be ex husband to review the last of the forms needing filing for our dissolution.

6:30 PM – stop for one cocktail on the way home

A little Saffire and 2 limes please!
A little Saffire and 2 limes please!

7:30 PM – walk the dog, finally fix some dinner and watch a little TV – I think I dozed for about half an hour along the way ….

10:30 PM – pick up son’s girlfriend who is temporarily living with us because the apartment where she lived with her mom burned from fire in connecting duplex. Thank goodness it’s only 5 minutes away!

11:30 PM – start last of dissolution paperwork so I can file it at the courthouse tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM.

12:30 AM – get text from son that his car has broken down and he is stranded about 3 miles away on his way home from work

1:00 AM – complete dissolution paperwork

2:00 AM – finally turning the light out- to be up at 6:00 AM to leave by 7 AM to hit the courthouse on the way to work.

And finally – a little peace and quiet!

sand

Thank goodness not all days are like this – makes me appreciate those when I’m home by 6 pm, quick dinner, no-one around, and dozing on the couch by 8!

Does your life ever feel this way?

Namaste – I honor you – and your crazy life!

Life In General

Hot Town … Summer In The City of Sacramento

Sacramento Summer is here .. with a vengeance.   It’s been pretty unseasonable so far – running just slightly above moderate temperatures, or below averages.  Not so much for the next two weeks!  It looks like out of the next 10 days, we’ll see 7 over 100 degrees. No rain in sight.

** All of the photos here are from various news sources.  I thank those anonymous sources for their bravery in providing the images. **

 I live about 2 miles from the 5th most critical reservoir in Northern/Central California.  It was in the news yesterday that by next year, it will be 96% empty if our drought continues.  This is what it looks like today:
What our reservoirs are looking like ...
What our reservoirs are looking like …
With the heat consistently high day after day, the afternoon thunder storms in the mountains east of us develop quickly with intensity creating hundreds if not thousands of lightning strikes but little or no rain.  And with that, the barrage of lightning strikes in our beautiful forests have us at extremely high risk of wildfires.  They’ve already started – up and down the state.
Here are some vivid images of our current, on-going California wildfires ….
Beautiful Trees Gone
Beautiful Trees Gone
It’s not just the fires, it’s also the toll on our residents – the families that are forced to evacuate their homes, wondering if they have  homes to return to.  It’s about the firefighters who risk their lives.
Monster fires
Monster fires
My favorite corner in downtown Markleeville – I lived here for a year and a half and spent many a summer evenings under those pink flowers on the bench in front of the Cutthroat Saloon watching the world go by.
Highway 89 in downtown Markleeville - Sat on the corner in front of the Cutthroat Saloon many a summer evenings.
Highway 89 in downtown Markleeville – Sat on the corner in front of the Cutthroat Saloon many a summer evenings.

There is currently a wildfire nearby Markleeville started by lightning strikes that has now burned over 17,000 acres and is less than 10% contained. A shift of wind could send the fire racing toward and through town.   I worry about the 165 residents (including the dogs I think) whose lifetimes are invested in this little mountain community, for the totally volunteer fire department made up of the towns people, and for CalFire, who day after day, year after year, do their very best to protect California from wildfires.

Please send messages to your higher power, whomever that may be, to bless California with rain!

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California’s not pretty these day – she could use a big drink of water.  Please think good thoughts for us!

 

Life In General

The Dregs of Apartment Living and Differing Points Of View

My son texted me on his way to work yesterday afternoon.   “Everything has been stolen out of my car. Nice.”  It was parked in a guest stall in our apartment complex.

Unfortunately he had a few more boxes of belongings to bring into our apartment from our move.  Unfortunately it was a lot of his clothes and his dress shoes, and all of his yearbooks from junior high and high school.

Maybe he will figure out it is important to be motivated enough to finish a task.  I bought him necessities this morning.  I am sad at the reinforcement that some people just don’t have any respect for other people’s belongings.  He is sad, even angry, as his yearbooks were a big part of what little he had left of his childhood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Had dinner with hubby, his daughter and son-in-law – it was nice to visit with them  – they know that I am not living there, she thinks it’s kind of weird, but understands.  Nice dinner – except that hubby had a little too much to drink and was a little sloshy.

About 9:30 pm I decided it was time for me to go. We talked briefly about plans for the weekend – tomorrow  he is spending time with his son and daughter for Father’s day – I am  doing my own chores for the weekend and pulling out the remaining few boxes of mine from storage so I can close it down – $100 a month is $ 100!

The concept that I have stuff in storage and that I didn’t have it in and about “our” house seemed disagreeable to hubby.  We obviously have differing ideas about his house being our house (a concept I don’t believe is true because of his attitudes when push comes to shove).  He told me I was hurting his feelings by not having all my stuff there.

He doesn’t understand that the residence is HIS house – with his things, and I simply do not feel there is enough space for me to have my things, my treasures, that represent my life.  It’s nothing personal, I certainly am not offended – there just isn’t room.   He says if I can’t be a “we” in “our house” then fuck me.  He doesn’t realize how often he tells me it’s his house – and his rules go.  Fuck me.

I would love to truly feel we are a “we” – but I don’t. He’s mad again at me.  He was inebriated again.  I don’t know what to say.

Yes, I am enjoying the peace and quiet.

Namaste – I honor you – and your peace and quiet.

Itty Bitty.

 

 

Life In General, Mental Wellness

A Sanctuary In The Midst of A Crazy Week

So our move into our little apartment last Sunday was, though a long day, pretty painless for my son and me.  All the pre-arranging went off well.  It helped that we were not in a situation where we had to be completely out of somewhere by a deadline.

And husband, though on one hand, wanted to participate in the move as a show of support, as I anticipated found it awkward – so he busied himself with work, a nap and going to the bar.  Son and I (with the wonderful assistance of my nephew) managed to get done what was necessary.  Just one snarky bit was hubby telling my son that since all his stuff was out, he wanted my son’s key back as he didn’t need it any longer.  In my mind I wondered when he might want mine back.

This last week  was a crazy work at week on the heels of moving.  After the move on Sunday, Monday was spent at a golf course sponsoring a hole for a charity golf tournament hosted by  a meeting professionals’ organization I belong to.  7 am at the hotel to pick up jello shots – at the course by 8:15, set up and ready to go by 9 – and shot-gun tee off at 9:30.  18 foresome later, wine and hors d’oeuvres.  Met hubby for a drink (and to donate the left-over jello shots to our neighborhood bar for them to sell for their fund-raising efforts for an organization that trains companion/service dogs for veterans) – and then headed home to do a little grocery shopping and stop for the night.  Quick dinner of salami sandwiches and potato salad.

Tuesday was in the office catching up from being out Monday – and an annual gala dinner for the same meeting planner association – all day at work, then dinner – and home about 9:30 pm.  Exhausted.

Wednesday was an education day and trade show (I exhibited) all day from 7:30am to 6 pm – texted hubby to arrange picking up a TV for us to use – we met up for a quick cocktail and chat, then I headed home to make dinner for son – pork chops and angel hair pasta!

Yesterday our cable tv and internet was finally hooked up – while waiting for the tech to come I made good use of the time by doing some additional grocery shopping and bringing a few more boxes over.  Son and I made chili verdi and Spanish rice for dinner.

I hate to see my desk this morning and I know I have at least a dozen emails requiring action this morning for clients!

The first 3-4 nights son spent (after our daily adventures and dinner) with his friends who have been harboring him the last 6 months or so.  But the last few it appears he has been relaxing a little, hanging around in the evenings helping with getting settled.

I asked him if his anxiety levels from not being around hubby now were down at all  the other day – it happened to be his first post-divorce wedding anniversary day and he was not doing well emotionally.  He responded by saying he felt he is just existing right now.
So – our gentle ongoing conversation will be only he can make the changes in his life to move forward. I will support him in what he decides to do – but he must make the decisions.  Yesterday he seemed a little more engaged – and today he starts his 4-day run of working.

It kills me to see his sadness and emptiness on those days it consumes him.  But I am grateful we are close enough that he lets those feelings show and sometimes will even talk about them.

And back to hubby – I have been pleasantly (though guardedly) surprised by his outward acceptance of this necessary separation.  He has joined a bowling meet-up group so hopefully  he will socialize and participate.  Maybe even make friends!  We make a little time to spend together most days though he knows I will not be staying there.  Tonight because son is working I will go to his house for dinner – then come home.

Guardedly – I still wait for him to respond negatively.  If it goes smoothly for too long, I get worried – as is my life story. And I am honestly enjoying the peace and quiet of our little sanctuary – where I will insist on leaving the chaos at the door.

Here’s to Friday … with love ….

Namaste – I honor you all who are living life day to day and finding new paths.

Itty Bitty

Life In General

“Just Give Your Love And Don’t Look Back To See If Anyone Takes It – Ma Jaya

I read the title above quote in Arlo Guthrie’s Facebook page in which he talks about his family and his gratitudes.  It made me think ….

Our universe is in a sad place right now – be loving.

Be kind and compassionate.

Walk in the other person’s shoes before passing judgement.

Offer a hand up to someone in need.

If you cannot offer assistance, don’t forget how far

a simple hug and a word of encouragement can go.

Be truly grateful for what you have.

Find contentment, happiness is fleeting.

We are all perfectly imperfect.

sunset

Namaste – wishing you love and kindness all the time, but especially in this wonderous season of rebirth and reflection – however you celebrate it!

Itty Bitty

Life In General

Just Show Up – Motivation To Keep On Trying

While perusing LinkedIn this morning I ran across the following blog – by James Altucher.  It just hit home with me as I am feeling a bit “aged out” of the workforce and still not yet ready to stop working.  I needed this encouragement today.  Had my interview yesterday and realized that the company was doing marathon interviews all day, I walked away not truly confident – and while not having a pity party with myself, am coping with the reality that this opportunity is not going to happen.

“Just Show Up” By James Altucher

So this is part of my just showing up.

Namaste – to all my friends struggling to show up.

Itty Bitty

Life In General

The Dreaded Phone Interview

The Interview – 11 am today

I hate phone interviews.  Well, interviews at all …. I’ve been so freeking fortunate over my life not to have to interview very often for jobs.  And at this age? It’s not any easier.

I especially dread answering the “on the spot” questions – “So tell me about a situation where you had a client that had a bad experience and you had to resolve it – how did you handle it?”  One of half a dozen similar questions.  The problem is that in working in the same industry for 40 years, you just DO these things – it is automatic.  Problems happen – you deal with them so as to make your client happy without giving away the store.

I sounded nervous to me.  I’m sure I sounded nervous to her.  And you can’t simply say, LOOK, I know I can do this damn job – blindfolded.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

I was told I would hear something probably by Wednesday – but lo and behold, 12:30 – an hour after the phone call I received an email that the property general manager and area director of sales want to meet with me Thursday at 3 pm …. big sigh. Yay!

Son

Son had an appointment with his probation person this morning – his second monthly visit since being assigned from North Carolina to California and getting into the system.  The visits are supposed to be monthly at this time, but she feels he is doing well, being compliant, and meeting all the terms of his probation, so doesn’t need to see him again for two months – that’s good.  I hope it made him feel a little better about himself.

I so worry about him – he is experiencing another episode of mania – manifesting itself in serious insomnia.  Tired body but the brain has no intention of sleeping.  His med Dr. is trying to find a cocktail of meds to balance him out a bit more – it’s a struggle.  But I’ve heard that before – from other people.  Damn anxiety and bi-polar disorders.   I understand it’s not just because he wants to stay awake all night – or that as he recently told me he can’t go to sleep without the light on – as hard as it is I try to accept it and help him best I can – making sure he wakes up when he finally goes to sleep in the early morning hours so that he makes it to WORK and his wellness classes on time.  Hubby gets upset that I wake him up (he’s a “big boy”, he should be able to get himself up – quit enabling him) … I don’t think I’m out of line.

So what started as a stressful day has, half way through, turned into a not so stressful day so far.  I guess it’s having faith …

Namaste, my friends – and don’t give up the faith.

Itty Bitty