I Miss…



I miss my mom.  Even though she was 90 and had lived a good, long life, sometimes I want to just have a little sit-down like we did those last few years of her life.  Those years when she was forced to sit still.  Those years after she had fallen so many times she finally let us help; she finally laid it down.

Of course, it wasn’t long after that she took up residence in her new, finer home:  heaven.



I miss my dad.  There are so many times, after all these years that he has been gone, I still think, “I’ll ask Dad about that.”  We finally got to know him better those last months when we were staying round the clock with him, taking turns caring for him.  Enjoying his stories, the time with him, the good moments.  Like Mom, he didn’t care to live in this realm after he got really down, not able to care for himself.

He moved, too, soon after we started that round-the-clock care.

Where's my cigar?

Where’s my cigar?

I miss being a child.  We strive so hard, and seems so long, to become an “adult.”  My grandchildren are doing that right now.  How I would love to go back and walk on that hot, gooey pavement up the hill to play with friends again, run around and catch lightening bugs (at least that’s what we called them), get excited over things that I don’t seem to get so excited about anymore.  Look forward to going back to grade school in the fall as Kate is.  She is excited about going back this year.  She’s ready for it just as I was when I was her age.I Miss

I miss making pizza, Chef Boyardee in the box, with my sister and brother on Saturdays and eating ice cream, New York Vanilla.  I can’t count how many half gallons we ate of that delicious ice cream.  There is no ice cream that good anymore.  Covered in chocolate syrup.  There were a few perks to being children of the owners of a grocery store.  I can’t eat ice cream like that anymore.  Not unless I want to buy new clothes all the time.

I miss things I’ve lost, friends I haven’t seen or talked to in a while or have moved on like my mom and dad, stamina, seeing without glasses…

the list goes on and on.

What do you miss?

A Night With An Insomniac

Tonight is another sleep-disrupted night.

eyes wide open

I can’t decide if that’s any better than a completely sleepless night or not.  Since the chocolate ice cream is all gone, I decided to come in the office and tell you guys about insomnia instead.  A sort of walk-in-my-shoes type blog.

The evening starts out okay.  I’m all tired out, ready for bed, thinking tonight I will really get right to sleep.  (I have a lot of restless nights, so always happy when I think a good, restful evening is around the bend.)  My eyes are all droopy; I’m barely dragging.  Yippee!  Bring on the soft bed with the cool, clean sheets.

What time is it now?

Once in bed I squirm around and get all comfy… and that’s when it happens.  Just like my dad used to say (he had the same problem) “I go to bed, and my eyes pop open.”  No matter how tired I am, sleep eludes me.

Now, comes the I-am-not-getting-up stage which includes more tossing and turning, forcing my eyes to stay closed, and the leg moving.  My dad had that, too.  When we were staying the nights with him right before he passed away, you could hear him hitting his leg against the wall.  It’s awful!!  My body will not lie still.


As hard as I try to lie still, within three second I have to move my legs.  Drives me nuts! (I wonder if that’s why I’m so odd? hmmm)

Next is “the-magazines-say-not-to-lie-in-bed-if-you-can’t-sleep” stage.  Okay.  So I get up and look for ice cream.  I have all kinds just for these insomnia evenings: chocolate, French vanilla, strawberry, cherry garcia, vanilla bean, drumsticks, popsicles.

ice cream

Oh, I could go on and on.  If I don’t start sleeping better soon, I’m going to have to buy new clothes!

And since it’s boring to just sit and eat ice cream, I come into the office and play games or get on Facebook or Yahoo or write a blog.  I’m not at all sure insomnia blogs make any sense because I can get really loopy on these evenings.  (Did I mention I love ice cream?)

Some nights I get to the point of exhaustion fairly quickly and actually fall asleep… only to jerk awake.  What is with that???  That is just so unfair.  Even when I do get to sleep, I wake myself up!!  Geez Louise!  Can I get a “Give the girl a break for crying out loud!”?

If all else fails — the flailing around for hours and wearing myself completely out of energy that I eventually fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning or diverting my attention away from the stress of trying to sleep by eating delicious ice cream and getting on the computer or sleeping in a different spot like the couch — then out come the big guns.  I’m talking meds.


I’ve tried several, some prescription and some over the counter, but good old Valium works the best.  I can even break it in half (I am definitely not a heavy weight) and it will relax me just enough to fall asleep and sleep the rest of the night without jerking awake every 30 minutes.

Now, you say, then why don’t you just take one as you go to bed.  Well, I just don’t like to take meds.  I like to be as natural as possible.

counting sheep

So in the quest for natural sedatives, I’ve read all sorts of magazine articles and looked up insomnia on the internet in order to try remedies that may help without the aid of meds.

And some of them really do work.  I actually love yoga but have let it go by the wayside for the past couple of years.  It helps the body overall more than any other exercise that I’ve tried.

Yoga moves to beat insomnia

Walking is also a good boost for a good night’s sleep.  Walking in the evening seems to quiet the legs, calms the muscles somehow to let the legs actually rest.  One would think that walking of the evening would cause a person to be pumped up and ready for action instead of ready to sleep, but for those of us who suffer with insomnia, evening exercise does the opposite.

massage to relieve insomnia


It is always better to have someone else to give you a good massage; however, if you’re like me, you are the one and only and have to do it all yourself.  Here are a few massage techniques that have helped me on occasion, along with the big, noisy ball vibrator that weighs a ton. (This is a clean blog; get your mind out of the gutter!)  I have fallen asleep with that thing lying across my back, the roaring sound just kind of lulls me off to sleep, but it will tear my hair out and pinch like crazy if I’m not careful.  Needless to say, that only comes out of the closet if I am having a lot of muscle pain with the insomnia (which is probably why I have the insomnia on those nights.)  Sigh.

complications of insomnia

Shoot!!  I have all these symptoms!  I am soooo complicated!  Alas.

Finding Life in Old Pictures

Benny and Brenda across the street from Jim and Lee Caldwell's house.

The last couple of nights I’ve been going through old pictures, less-old pictures, and newer pictures picking out just the right ones for cookbooks I started a year or so ago for my siblings.  In doing that, I can’t help but reminisce, and this photo makes me think about Lee, Mom’s good friend for many, many years. 

Lee lived across the street from us when we were small, she and Jim, her husband, a tall, thin man who loved children.  Lee loves to tell stories about the neighborhood children coming to the house and asking Lee if “Jim could come out and play.”  She would look to him to see if it was a nod or a head shake and respond accordingly.  “Well, for a little while,” or “No, he can’t come out right now.”  The latter response would prompt a frown and the child relating the story to the parent with the addendum that “Lee won’t let Jim come out and play.”  She gets a kick out of telling this story and laughs gleefully.

She also gets a kick out of telling the story about my brother and I coming over to “help” Jim work in the yard.  Benny was six; I was four.  We, as the story goes, (I can’t remember it) were helping with the hard labor of picking up sticks out of the yard.  When it was all said and done, Jim says, “Well, I think that deserves an ice cream cone, don’t you?”  That was back in the day when the town boasted a Dairy Dream, two hardware stores, a dry cleaner, a Five and Dime, three or four clothing stores, a drug store (where we got the most delicious cherry cokes at the counter), a newspaper, at least one car dealership, multiple filling stations, and multiple grocery stores.  Whew!  I know I’m leaving out a bunch of things.  Oh, yeah!  A hospital, a dentist, a bank, the post office; of course, the court house.  And can’t forget the taverns.  There were as many of those as there were churches.  In other words, a real town, a town full of life, a town where people bought and sold from each other, did their living and made their living in the town they lived in. 

But back to that delicious ice cream cone.  It must have been delicious because the next day, Lee says, here comes Benny knocking on the door.  When Jim comes to the door, Benny looks at him and says, “Do you think we better pick up more sticks today?”  And the good man that Jim was, said, “No, I don’t believe we need to today.  But how about we go get an ice cream cone?”

I love that story.  And I love all those good people from my childhood that seem to be disappearing right before my eyes. 

Ms. Lee still lives in the little house you see in the picture, where she has lived for decades.  It looks a little different now with a carport added, a few changes here, a few there.  Go by in the summer and she will be sitting in her swing, ready to regale you with wonderful stories of her youth (The Birger Gang!) or wonderful stories from your youth.