February 25, 2014

For the woman I never met

My step daughter came into the house and handed it to me. ”Dad thought you might like to do some Goggling when you see this.” 

The envelope she handed me was small, square and browned with age; the postmark was from Newport News and the year which was barely legible said 1951. Bill found it tucked under a draw of a piece of antique bedroom furniture we had just purchased that day.

It was so neatly addressed I remember thinking to myself; this person must have been taught penmanship by the nuns but that thought soon drifted out of my head as I removed the small card and examined it closely.

The front of the card had a bride dressed in white; I was enchanted by how simply lovely this card was and how remarkable it was it had survived some 61 years tucked behind a drawer. On the inside in the same neat and thoughtful hand was the name of the bride being honored and two women who were hosting the shower.

Then it hit me.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to try to find the bride and give her the invitation?  Her first name was unusual but her last name was a much more common name so I did a quick Google search without any luck. I then tried one of the hostesses’ names and I had more luck, to a degree. I found her (the hostess) obituary which was rather sad; it was however filled all the information I needed to locate my bride including her married name and the town she lived in currently.
   
Some more Goggling and I was dialing the phone and calling my bride…

Mrs. Bride answered the phone on the second ring.  I prayed I would find the right words to tell her what I found and how I found her without making her feel uncomfortable.  She was very sweet and polite but didn't offer much information nor did I expect her to. She did however confirm that the card was from her bridal shower.  I promised to send it to her and decided to add a handwritten letter.

I wondered if I’d hear from her.

Five days later I received a phone call from her. She was SO happy! As soon as she received the card she said she called all of her children to tell them and read them my letter.  Then she went on to tell me bits about her life and her family, how her sisters had honored her with the shower all those years ago. It was clear that this little card had tremendous much meaning to her and connected her to so many memories of years gone by. 

When she called me I was so honored that I could do this kindness for this woman I've never met and more than likely never will. 
It was a wonderful experience.

Have you ever done a something like this?

Would you if given the chance?

February 19, 2014

My latest obsession

I have spent most of my adult life waking up each morning and never quite feeling refreshed. It never seemed to be a problem until I hit my fifties. Then I decided to look into and this is what I found out..

I was a lousy sleeper which has left me obsessed with sleep!

Most normal people have five sleep cycles per night; each cycle usually lasts approx. ninety minutes.  If you wake up in the middle of a cycle, your brain has to go back to the beginning and starts the entire sleep cycle all over again.  The fewer interruptions to your sleep cycle the better your sleep quality. Makes sense, that if the sleep cycles finish that is good and a cycle is interrupted that is....not so good.
The importance here is the sleep "quality" and how efficiently you sleep and less about the” quantity” or the time you spend in bed; sleep doctors call this sleep efficiency.
When I went for my sleep tests they recorded a shift from deep to light non–rem sleep or from sleep to wakefulness some 200 times a night ( they are called arousals) most of these were breathing related episodes due to my sleep apnea. This put my sleep efficiency at  50%. 
Pretty bad!  
Any number above 85% and you can consider yourself a good sleeper!

I went on C-Pap and my nightly arousals went from 200 down to 4 and although I may wake up two times per night I am sleeping deeply when I am asleep!

 A good thing!

Here’s a neat way to calculate your sleep efficiency without having a sleep test which btw borders on torture and costs a fortune.

It will give you a general idea of how well you sleep by giving you the example of my numbers from the other night. 

Sleep Efficiency Calculator

Total Sleep Time = minutes  (630)
Minus time to fall asleep =  minutes  630-20=610

Total # 1 : minutes  610

Subtract = minutes awake during night
(1 toilet,20 mins., 2nd wake up 30 mins) = 50 mins. :
610-50=560

Total #2 minutes 560

Divide Total #1 (630)  into #2 (560) and you will arrive at your Sleep Efficiency.=  89%

This was a really good night for me and although I love my mask I do upon occasion struggle with wearing it but have been able to push thru any resistance.
It's a love hate relationship. 

How's your sleep life?



February 4, 2014

Go ahead I know you want to...Blogging from A-Z sign ups


Did you sign up?

If you didn't I am here to remind you that it’s that time again; April is almost upon us and it’s time to start thinking about The blogging from A-Z Challenge. 

This year I’m joining my friends over at Blogging from A-Z for another month of daily blogging (with Sundays off).

This is my third year of this challenge and I love each and every minute of it. I've made many friends and had a blast writing what I think might be some of my most creative posts.

Did you know that this challenge is the brainchild of Arlie Bird over at Tossing it Out.  If you are looking for a way to stretch your blogging/writing muscles or just want to make some new friends you really need to sign up right this minute!

So why don’t you head over to their web site by clicking here or any of the other links above. They've provided excellent directions telling you what to do, easy peasy. Then grab their blog button…see I have one proudly displayed in this post and on my sidebar.

Go ahead what are you waiting for?!
Let me know if you're joining or if you've decided not to.
I'd love to hear what went into your decision either way.

I’m knocking around the idea of doing a theme for the month, maybe!

February 2, 2014

Getting up close and personal

Things have changed significantly in our lives since the summer. After their plans to live elsewhere went BOOM (big family drama) Bill’s daughter and her family moved in with us. And now we’ve got a full house.

 Bill’s daughter (the one I didn’t raise) moved away as a young woman with her new husband to Cyprus. After a twenty five year absence from our lives they came back with kids in tow and there was a lot of catching up to do.It’s been great having boys (2) in the house again, and their children are very sweet and respectful. Although I’m not their biological grandmother I’ve been married to their grandfather for close to thirty-five years so they call me grandma out of respect (which I love). I am getting to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes and I’m even picking up a word or two of Greek!! My step daughter is a lovely young woman, only eight years my junior and we really get on well, like friends. She works hard long hours to support the family and is a loving wife and mother. Her husband is my food twin!! He loves all the exact food, beer and wine I like just like I like it; funny right? He’s very respectful of all of us and can’t do enough to help around the house, run out to the store or even repair something here or at my mother’s house.  He calls my son’s Billy and Matthew little brother which I think is very sweet.

And what we thought would be a few months stay has been extended to longer but we’re seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. For those of you, who think it’s easy “coming to America” as “a legal immigrant”, think again. My step daughters husband did everything except jump thru hoops to comply with all the rules, forms and fees  and finally this week  he’s received notice he’ll be getting his green card with permanent resident status within a week or two. Although he’s been here before and had two green cards previously that didn't make one iota of a difference. My thoughts turn to 911 and the heightened scrutiny our government takes on each and every application and I can’t help but think this is the reason and the cause for the months and months of wait time. Personally this makes me both annoyed and grateful at the same time.

 I’m just going to end this post with a big hello to anyone who’s even reading this blog anymore!!
 Thanks :0 

And some advice; for anyone reading that might have a relative who wants to come here to the USA and become a permanent resident. Do your paperwork in your home country before coming to America!  If not you best have a lot of money saved or a family member who can work (since you can’t work legally), at least two places to live. Don’t expect one of them to be my house…we’re out of rooms!!