A Great Weekend

This last weekend was a great one for me. It is the first time since my kids moved out that they came home to visit.

Their dog was beside herself with happiness at having them home. When I tell her that mom and dad are coming home I swear she knows what I am saying. When they came home she gave them so much love it was funny watching her go from one to the other to give kisses. I actually got to spend two nights without her in my bed, it was heaven. She stayed out in the living room with her parents.

Food plays a major part when my kids come home. They both love to eat. The first night home we had Richway Gyros. It is my daughter’s favorite and she can’t get gyros where they live. Saturday I made them fried chicken. They both love it and since they don’t have a deep fryer they wanted me to make some.  Sunday for lunch I made us all a big breakfast. We had eggs, hashbrowns and bacon. I was going to make steak for dinner Sunday, but since we ate breakfast after noon they were not hungry yet before they left. I gave them the steaks to take home and enjoy.

My daughter has always loved going grocery shopping with me and things haven’t changed. We took a trip to Aldi and Walmart and bought enough to feed a small army. I tried to stock the kids up on some of their favorite things that they can’t find where they live. They ended up taking a small cooler, two insulated bags and a half dozen or so bags of food with them.

Their small suv was packed to the roof when they left. They took their tent with them because they are going camping next weekend.  I do not envy them having to carry all the stuff up to their third floor apartment. I probably won’t see them again until Thanksgiving. I take comfort in the fact that they live in a nice place and are doing well on their own. They are enjoying starting their new life together. They gave me a great weekend and I am happy! 🙂


Starting Over at 45….

I can honestly say I never pictured myself starting my life over at 45. But that is exactly what I am doing! Let me explain.

It has now been just over 2.5 years since my husband died. We were married for 22 years and 2 months to the day when he died. I swear he did that on purpose because he loved the number 2. He was sick for over 2 years before he died, so his death did not come as a surprise. It was almost a blessing to know that his suffering would be over. We came to peace with everything before he died so there was no unfinished business.

We had one daughter in our marriage. She is almost 22 years old and moved out of my house for good with her husband last month. I hated to see her leave, but at the same time I knew it was time to start her life with her husband. They had to leave their dog with me for another year because where my boy goes to school they can’t get an apartment that allows dogs. Next year they will move and take her with them. I love having her because she keeps my dog company.

Since I have the two dogs, I am not technically alone. I just do not live with any humans. I am at a point in my life now that I am alone and the kids are gone that I need to figure out what I want to do. I have spent the last two years figuring out who I am and what I want out of life.

I have devoted much energy toward my job. I love being a quality accountant. The responsibility I am given makes the job challenging yet extremely rewarding. The fact that I love numbers only makes thing better. I work long hours but it doesn’t bother me because it keeps me from dwelling on being alone.

My husband expressed a wish before he died that after a while I find someone to share my life with. He knew I was too young to be alone the rest of my life. I have been talking to a great guy for almost a year. We have yet to meet in person because he lives in a different part of the country. We have connected on a level only two mature adults can reach. We look forward to the day when we will meet. He has expressed an interest to move to Indiana so he can be with me. For now we take things one day at a time. We know that everything happens for a reason and if we are meant to be together it will happen.

Other than hating being alone, I am content with my life. My future will be what I make of it.  I look at it as I am being given a second chance at life and I had better not waste it. I will always love and take care of my kids as long as I am able.  I will continue to strive to be an excellent employee and someone my company can be proud of. I might be a dreamer but I am hoping for a happily ever after in my future….



A Summer of Camping…

I am finally in the full swing of camping. After being released after my surgery, I am more than ready to get going.  I went camping twice last month. The second weekend of the month I went to my favorite place the Indiana Dunes. The weather was perfect with highs right around 80 degrees. I had no trouble hooking up the camper or driving to the campground. Setting the campsite up went really well. My sister-in-law also had a site and was camping. We went to the European market Saturday so I could get some hot soft pretzels and cheese. The rest of the day I was able to relax. I had my computer so I was checking email and keeping an eye on the blogging and Facebook world. I also got back into one of my favorite past times, reading. It was nice to just sit back and relax and enjoy the park.

Labor Day weekend I drove to Turkey Run State Park and camped with my kids. They absolutely loved getting to see their dog. They cannot have her for another year and they miss her so. It was great getting to see them and spend time with them. I miss them very much since they moved away. The weather was very hot and even though my camper has A/C it could not keep up. The kids went hiking Saturday and Sunday mornings. The pictures they took were beautiful and I am happy they enjoyed it. I spent the entire weekend trying to relax. I was not able to get internet the entire weekend so that kind of upset me. Cell phone service was also unpredictable. I was planning on getting some work done as well as checking email, Facebook and the blogging world. I need the internet which is why I bought a hotspot. Not being able to get any work done over the long weekend really hurt me for the short work week. The weather did cool off Sunday and we were able to enjoy ourselves more. The long ride home made me thankful I only travel once a year to camp.

The last weekend of this month I will be going camping alone. I am both looking forward to this and dreading it at the same time. I know I can hook-up, haul and park the camper with no problem. I can even set it up by myself even though it wears me out. I will have the dogs with me and I will have internet. I just hope the weather is not too hot. Camping is in my blood and I love it.  I have already tentatively planned out the camping season for next year. When I was growing up I never would have believed that I would love camping, or as some call it glamping. I have everything I need in a beautiful place. My camper has A/C, a toilet, refrigerator, microwave, couches and I have a king size bed just like at home! What more could a woman ask for?  Except maybe a man to share it with but that is another story. Have a great fall everyone!!  🙂


The Kids Are Gone!

Last month my kids moved out for good. I knew it probably wouldn’t be easy, but I was not prepared for what actually happened! Although looking back it could have been worse, I am sure glad it is over.

As I said in a previous post, this summer my kids found a one bedroom apartment in Vincennes, Indiana.  The apartment is beautiful and we feel lucky they could get it. Their landlords are a family and not some corporation. This puts my mind at ease because I know the people care about their buildings and it shows in how well they are kept up. They also check out their tenants thoroughly which allows me to sleep better.

August 9th was the day we chose for moving day. I was going to take off work the 8th to help get last-minute things ready and the 9th we would drive down. Once we knew the date it was time to rent a truck. I checked out different truck rental companies online. I also had to figure out how I would get home after driving the truck down. We ended up choosing U-Haul because their rates were good and through them I could put my car on a vehicle transport. This way when we got down there all I had to do was unload my car and I would be set to come home. We also decided to hire movers to unload the truck once we got there. We figured loading the truck would be hard enough for us. Also since they live on the third floor we weren’t about to kill ourselves trying to get their stuff up to their apartment without damaging anything.

As it turned out my daughter did not start packing until only a couple of days before the move. Needless to say it was utter chaos and everything was crazy. It was hard because they have a ton of stuff and their apartment is only so big. Deciding what to take was hard for my daughter. I did not envy her at all. She started packing up their room when the moving truck was out front. The truck was brand new and we were the first ones to rent it. My boy and his friend packed the truck for the most part. We also ended up packing all three of our cars! We were just hoping everything would fit into the apartment.  The truck didn’t end up getting loaded until after 10pm. We stayed up late trying to get everything packed for the cars.

We did not have a problem getting my car on the transport. The drive down also went well for the most part. We did have one major problem, however. I was supposed to get a call from the movers the day before the move. When that didn’t happen I tried all morning to reach them without luck.  On the drive down, I finally reached them. Only they told me they couldn’t move us because they were overbooked. They thought someone called me. Now mind you we are two hours away from our destination with a 14 foot truck and three cars full of belongings!! My daughter had to pull over and using her cell phone, find us a new set of movers. Luckily she was able to do this. We were running late in getting to town so I had to call the landlord and ask if we could still get keys after hours. They were very accommodating and came back when we arrived to do the paperwork and give us the keys.

We told the new movers to show up around 7pm, which is when I rolled into town with the truck. They did not arrive until after 8:30pm, however. I guess we should be lucky they showed up at all. Two hours later the kids stuff was all moved in. They went to get dinner and I started unpacking the kitchen. We went to Walmart to get stuff for the apartment around 11:30pm. We got home with a car full of stuff at 1:30am. Then we had to carry it all up to the 3rd floor. We ended up staying up until 4am unpacking and setting things up around the apartment. We thought we could sleep in. Wrong!!  The U-Haul company called me at 8am wanting to know when I was bringing the truck back! I thought I had until at least 2pm to return it, but they promised it to someone else for early morning! So we had to get up and take the truck back.

After coming back and getting a few more hours sleep, we went out shopping again. We needed to get more stuff at Walmart and they also needed groceries. So three stores later and the kids had food and most of what they needed to start their new life. I did need to order them a kitchen table, pantry and desk for the apartment. I was hoping to get home by 6pm but it turned out more like 10:30pm.

In the weeks since, the stuff I ordered came in and my daughter assembled it all. I think the apartment looks nice and they will do fine. My daughter is learning to grocery shop and take care of a place. Soon she will be finding a job and their life can fall into a routine. I know my kids love each other and will do great. Now to get my life in order!

Good Grief?

I am a widow and this post explains a lot. Maybe this will help my friends understand me better.

Widows Don't Wear Black

I was told by a doctor in the days following Col’s death that I would  never get over the loss of him from my life. I didn’t understand that what that kind doctor meant was that my grief will always be with me but it would not always be as sore and raw as it was in those first hours and days. I wanted to fix myself and my life and sticky plaster it all back together so it could be what it once was. I didn’t want to hear that life would always have this pain of grief in it. The doctor was right and I was wrong. Life after loss is like waking up in an altered reality. Everything looks the same but you feel the whole world differently. People sound different. And you feel indifferent to much of what is said and happening around you because much…

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A Busy Week….Summer Fun

Last weekend was the famous Whiting, Indiana Pierogi Fest. It is a time when hundreds of thousands of people come to my city for food and fun. The Fest runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday night is the crazy Pierogi Fest polka parade. Only entries that are over the top and crazy are allowed. We have Mr. Pierogi and the pierogiettes as well as the babuska brigade and the precision lawnmower drill team. There is a site on Facebook if you look up Pierogi Fest 2013 that has some incredible pictures of what I am talking about.

Friday night I went to the parade with my kids. Even though they are over 20 they loved the parade for the silliness factor alone. We then went to the actual Fest. My daughter fell in love with deep-fried alligator nuggets. My boy had to try a bunch of Pierogi of course, he only like the meat filled variety. I had some noodles and cabbage just like grandma used to make. My daughter bought a yard of chocolate covered strawberries and was in heaven. The lemonade shake-ups were perfect. I bought a steak sandwich with grilled onions and cheese and ate it for breakfast on Saturday! Anything goes Pierogi Fest weekend.

I went back to the fest with my daughter Saturday and met my sister-in-law. We once again pigged out on good food. Saturday night we had alligator nuggets, potato pancakes, noodles and cabbage, steak sandwiches, a hot fudge sundae (my daughter), a foot long bacon wrapped hot dog with cheese, and of course more pierogi! Don’t worry we did not eat all the food there, we took some home.

Sunday I went back with the kids to stock up on the goodies. We ended up with steak sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, shish-ka-bobs, cabbage and noodles, potato pancakes, another foot long deep-fried bacon wrapped hot dog with cheese, an apple dumpling with ice cream and of course more pierogi. There was over 75 food vendors and when you think that Taste of Chicago doesn’t even have 40 it is saying something. There are also arts and craft vendors. I bought four Pierogi Fest t-shirts. My boy got a budda shaped candle and a super hero mask. I also bought the kids a flaming rock to go in their new apartment.

Tuesday was my birthday and after work I went out to eat with my mom and kids. We went to a buffet because my kids are picky eaters. They found tons of food they liked and I think we all overate. Now coming up Saturday, I am taking the kids to the county fair for more food. The kids are moving away in 8 days and I will definitely have to be dieting and exercising to work off all this food. They still haven’t started packing yet, so this should be an interesting next few days. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer as much as I am.