Do You Ever Lose the Guilt?

Daily Prompt:  Guilty

I was raised by my grandmother from the time I was about 11 years old.  So you can imagine what kind of reactions she had to what was going on in the 1960’s.  I don’t know how many times I heard “they didn’t do that in my day”.  

Couple that with the guilt I developed from my Catholic education.  Don’t misunderstand, I loved going to Catholic school, it’s just there was always a lot of discussion of consequences to doing something wrong.  And it usually had to do with hurting someone’s feelings.  So if I had done something she would not have approved of, I felt her wrath.  Mom had a way about her.  She didn’t yell or scream at you, she just got real quiet.  Believe me, I would rather have had her yelling at me.  

We were always close.  I actually always loved spending time with her.  She was wonderful to me.  I was blessed to have had her come into my life to raise me.  But that being said, I was a normal teenager and pushed the limits like we all do at times.  Needless to say,  when I was grown we had a few laughs over all of it.  Just like I am sure she had with her mom.  

The funniest thing is, the one thing I still feel guilty about is when I wear a dress and don’t have a slip on.  I can hear my mom saying “a lady always wears a slip!”  I still own slips and my girls laugh at me because I wear them.  And my response is simply my mom would be spinning in her grave if I didn’t wear a slip!

Mom had a wonderful sense of humor.  I lost her way too soon.  She died of cancer in 1977 the day before my 26th birthday.  Love you mom. ♥

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Mary’s Assumption

Daily Prompt:  Assumption, Disappear

When I hear the word Assumption I automatically think of the Blessed Mother.  Mary was taken up into heaven body and soul after she died and was put in her grave.  This is a feast we Catholics celebrate every August 15th.

When praying the Rosary, the Assumption is one of the Glorious Mysteries that we meditate on.  We reflect on the love Jesus has for His mother, and that while on the cross Jesus gave her to us as our mother too.

I realize that non-Catholics do not believe this.  And no there are no explicit references to this in the Bible.  But dogma of the Church and the belief of Mary’s Assumption are according to scholars who have studied scripture, implicitly referenced.

Sadly today many feasts in the church have disappeared.  Many that were holy days of obligation for Catholics, Mass is no longer necessary.  I am a cradle Catholic.  I went to Catholic elementary school   My school day started with Mass.  I attended Novena’s weekly.  I loved going to church and I loved my faith.

The music during Mass was beautiful.  The churches were beautiful with altar rales and marble columns.  My church had a beautiful fresco painted on the ceiling.  There were majesty and mystery to attending Mass.  You knew you were worshipping God.  The priest said Mass in Latin.  I believe that the disappearance of some of these traditions has caused people to fall away from their faith.

I must admit that the new way of things, post-Vatican II, did cause me to struggle a bit.  It has taken a long time for me to be comfortable again.  My anxiety over these changes is disappearing finally.  Which makes me happy.

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It’s My Story

Daily Prompt:  Awkward

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“I smile because you’re my Daughter, then I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it!”  Unknown

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when someone says something and you have to hold your breath for the explosion to happen?   Here’s an example of what I mean.  

I was with my daughter and her family on Friday.  We had gone to see the play my grandsons were in at their school.  Following the play, which was really cute by the way, we all went out to lunch.  

We are sitting at the table when our waitress asked my daughter if she and I were sisters.  Now, I don’t think that we look the same age, but apparently either she is looking older or I am looking younger.  I prefer to think the latter.  

I held my breath until I was sure my daughter was not going to blow up at the waitress.  Thankfully she has a great sense of humor and just shrugged it off.  However, for a second or two it was a little tense at our table.  

The thing is, just the week before at my granddaughter’s dance competition the same thing happened to us.  So clearly me losing weight, wearing makeup again,  and dressing like I belong in this century has made me look younger.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  🙂

Wanda

IMHO

Daily Prompt: Narcissism, Pedigree, Thin, Infect, Premature, Complication

“It is not your blue blood, your pedigree, or your college degree.  It’s what you do with your life that counts.”  Millard Fuller

This is one of my favorite quotes.  I think it says everything about what is important in our lives.  The days of getting by on your laurels are long over.  A name doesn’t mean anything without doing something with that name.  Without doing something for the greater good. 

It’s true, in the United States we do not have Royalty.  But we have our share of famous families which were thinly veiled with prestige and a class of their own making.  Our own made up royalty if you will.  

This behavior can be infectious to our society.  We have tuned celebrities and athletes into superstars that we treat as royalty.  They become role models for our children, which for the most part is not a good thing.  Many of them have behaviors which are not something that should be celebrated.   Money and what it can buy is taken as a status that avails premature accolades and a false idea of what is important in life.  

I am not saying that all celebrities and athletes are a bad example.  There are many who give back and behave like responsible adults that we are happy for our kids to look up to.  Unfortunately, our media does not focus on them.  They would rather hone in on those narcissistic individuals which in my opinion just celebrates their poor behavior.  

Life is more than what we can have and can buy.  It’s being a part of a community big and small.  It’s learning how to love, help, and support each other, not bring each other down.  There is so much violence in the world today.  Kids shooting up schools, clubs, and concerts being attacked with automatic weapons, violence is all around us.  My personal opinion is that a lot of it stems from the violence on TV, the movies, and video games.  When is the last time a video game which has a non-violent aspect to it was advertised on TV?  Violence is what sells today.  

All this makes being a parent difficult.  When it seems that the whole world is saying hate, violence and sex are the right way it is very hard to get through to our kids that peace, love, and good morals are the right way.  

For those who don’t know what the title of this means, it is an acronym for In My Humble Opinion.  

Wanda

My Little Piece of Heaven

Daily Prompt:  Forest

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Living in a forest is quite an experience.  We cleared just enough of it to have room for our house and garage.  I live in the middle of a long needle pine forest.  It’s quiet and full of life.

I have bear, coyote, red fox, alligator, deer and so many more animals that visit our little piece of heaven.  I love it here.  My property is all natural, no gardens, just a few pots with flowers in them on my front porch.  At night you can hear the tree frogs singing.  If you open my front door at night, there are always several tree frogs sitting around my outside patio light stuffing themselves on the insects the light attracts.

Where I live is unique in that the beach is only twenty minutes away.  I have the best of two worlds living here.

I can sit on my front porch and watch the hawks and occasional eagle fly over my property.  They are beautiful in flight.  I just have to watch out that Gracie isn’t out wandering when those birds of prey are around.  She could be picked up and taken for a good meal.  Then there are the butterflies flying by, the Cardinals and other birds which I love to watch and photograph.  And I am amazed at the different “weeds” that have pretty blooms.

I have fox squirrels here.  They are really cute.  They are mostly black with masks of white on their faces.  There are varying degrees of black, white, and grey on these comical characters.  I also have big bugs.  Yuk!  I could do without them.

The Green Swamp Preserve is a 15,907-acre swamp nearby and it is beautiful.  It has venus flytraps, orchids and other rare plants and animals.  The venus flytraps are in bloom in late May.  I am planning a photo excursion there at the end of the month.

I have lived in a city, the burbs and now in the woods which is my favorite especially since the beach is so accessible to me.

Wanda

Rebel With A Cause

Daily Prompt:  Rebel

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This graphic reminds me of my oldest daughter, Kelly.  From the time she was twelve until she turned twenty-two, I did not like her.  I loved her very much but didn’t like her.  No matter what I said to her, I was wrong and didn’t know anything..  And if she didn’t say anything the look she gave me could put me in my grave.

Add to that my rebellious daughter always had to have the last word.  I was so frustrated with her that I always told her that I wished she would have one (a child) just like her.  Of course, she would give me one of those looks and walk away from me.

If I would say the sky is blue, she argued that it was green.  I couldn’t win.  I would lose my temper with her, then she would say to me “I would never say that to my kids.”

Fast forward to motherhood for Kelly.  She has three wonderful beautiful children that are my greatest joy.  One has entered the teen years.  She now apologizes to me for her rebellious attitude.  She gets frustrated with him and then tells him he has turned her into Grami.  That’s me.  🙂  I get the biggest kick out of the situation.

I realize our kids have to become those rebels who seem to just want to drive us out of our minds.  It’s how they test boundaries and learn limits.  I guess looking back I did my share of being a rebel too.   It’s in our nature.

Wanda

Laughter

Daily Prompt:  Laughter

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Let’s face it, life is hard.  Relationships are work, raising children is work, and our careers place so much strain on us.  We are pulled in many directions daily.  Not to mention the losses we experience in our lives.

God gave us a way to deal with all of this stress which is simple and free.  Laughter.  He programmed us with it.  When we have the ability to laugh at ourselves, we lower our stress level, enjoy what we do, and feel better.

Laughter also helps in situations of high stress.  It can defuse confrontation and lead to a new friendship.  Laughter is the medicine that you don’t need a prescription for.

“Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.”  From an article on HELPGUIDE.ORG.

It is important to learn the difference between laughing with someone as opposed to laughing at someone.  And it is important to not take yourself so seriously that you cannot laugh at yourself.

I am blessed to have kids with a great sense of humor.  When we are together the laughter doesn’t stop.  I am usually the object of the laughter.  The kids begin a dialogue about what I would do or say as they were growing up.  They kid me about the way I dance and the fact that I am not coordinated enough to golf.  It’s done with love and I feel blessed that we all can laugh about our lives.

It has been said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted”.  Such a true statement.  Laugher brings joy and happiness to your life no matter what sadness you are going through.

When my husband died, we were devastated.  His death was unexpected.  When the kids and I were together planning his memorial along with the tears was laughter as we reminisced about his life and quirks.   With laughter, you can get through anything.

So, have a good laugh today, and make it a habit.  You’ll feel better.

Wanda