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I’m such a follower

I’ve been following a couple of blogs for a while and they have inspired me to step it up. Thanks Lily and Tim!

The writing prompt this time is sleepovers. I actually have a really good one for this!

When I was 13 my mom decided to throw me a big “friends” party. When you have a December birthday that doesn’t usually happen. But my dad had died a few months earlier and my mom wanted to do something fun. Plus my sister had done something similar for my niece 6 months earlier. Huh, mom was a follower too!

Anyway, I got to invite 4 friends over and we had a DIAPER PARTY. It’s not as kinky as it sounds, I promise!

It was a way to say goodbye to childhood and hello to being a teenager. My mom searched the city and found the old-fashioned diaper pins. You know, the ones with the little bunnies and ducky’s on them? Yeah, those ones. She also found receiving blankets to use as cloth diapers. Imagine 5 giggly tween girls all dressed up in diapers and t-shirts. My mom was a brave woman!

Everyone received a 4 oz. baby bottle when they got there and all liquids had to be drank from that. Carbonated soda in a baby bottle was a lot of fun. For games we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and this one where you were blindfolded and had a big bowl of cotton balls and a spoon and had to transfer the cotton balls into a smaller container. Mom made up a bunch of finger foods and we watched little kids movies. Well, we watch The Care Bears Movie and one that was recommended by the movie store clerk called Zapped! Mom wasn’t overly impressed with that one! We also got to eat Pudding Pops! We didn’t sleep much but had a blast and all in all, it was the best birthday I ever had!

Best childhood treat EVER!

Best childhood treat EVER!

How about you? Do you have any sleepover memories?

Zebra Garden

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me!

No, I’m not channeling Aretha.

Lately I’ve noticed that most many a lot some of today’s youth have no idea what respect actually means. I changed that to “some” because I do happen to know quite a few young people who are very respectful and I don’t want them to think I’m just making a grand assumption that everyone is like this.

Respect isn’t something that you can just demand. In most cases it must be earned.

Respect isn’t something that just happens. I respect a lot of people, even if I don’t agree with their choices.

Lying isn’t a form of respect. Not for yourself or for anyone else. Lying is wrong. Even more so when it hurts those around you. Stealing is right there too. Stealing from a store is illegal and is one of the many reasons we end up paying more and more for the things we need. I don’t care how big the store is or what it is that was taken. It all affects the bottom line and the paying customers have to make up for what you took without paying.

Saying please and thank you are a way of showing respect. They show that you appreciate what was done or given to you.

Not allowing those around you to act mean and ugly to you would be considered self-respect. Each of us deserves someone who genuinely cares and wants to help us succeed in life. Surrounding yourself with people who are always negative and don’t care about others feelings isn’t respecting yourself. It shows the world that you don’t think you’re worthy of anything better. You’re wrong! You are worth so much more!

There are a lot of little ways we can show respect for those around us. Sometimes it’s just smiling at the person you pass on the street. Maybe it’s offering to hold the door for that young mom who looks like she’s so overwhelmed she’s ready to burst into tears at any moment. Maybe it’s seeing the little flowerbed in front of your neighbor’s house is full of weeds and that neighbor is elderly and can’t get out there on their own so you clean it up for them.

Being respectful isn’t difficult. It’s really not rocket science. We teach our children manners when they’re little hoping they will learn to be respectful adults. Somewhere along the line some of these young people have missed something. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that comes off as arrogance and disrespect. They think just because they’ve reached a certain age, people should just automatically respect them. I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If all you’ve done is be a jerk to the people around you, including me, I’m certainly not going to respect you. Being a liar and a thief isn’t going to earn my respect either.

This isn’t necessarily directed at any one person. Just so I’m clear on that. This is happening all over our country. A young man and his brother set off bombs that killed 3 and seriously injured over 200 people because they wanted respect. (Ok, that’s my own opinion on the situation but I’m sure I’m not alone) How much respect do you think he’s going to get from a jury?

I found this quote and it seems very fitting in today’s society.

“The world is passing through troublesome times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.” Peter the Hermit (A.D. 1274)

Ok, so apparently this was happening in 1274 too. Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.

 

51 Days later…

51 days ago my mom passed away. I had what I can only call the most stressful week of my life so far. There have been good days and bad days in the last 51 days. Some have been easier than others and I know that will continue to happen likely forever. A week ago my niece and I got matching tattoos in memory of my mom. It was a pretty amazing experience and I’m glad we did it together. I haven’t been posting because every time I try to think of something to write, I feel like I can’t breathe so I stop.

I don’t want to turn this into a place where all I do is vent about how sad I am. That’s not who I am in real life so why should I let that be who I am on here? Father’s Day was really hard because that was the 1 month mark. But I got through it and I’m still here.

We started our Horse Camp season the first week of June and have been having a blast getting to know all the new families and being able to reconnect with old friends. My family does something we lovingly call “Horse Camp” every summer. We started 13 years ago when MiniMe was just a baby. I got a call from my brother asking if we wanted to come over after soccer practice and ride horses. That really is how we started. My niece and nephew started coming and I invited one of my co-workers one time and my brother invited the crew from his roofing business to bring their families out. Because we were doing this right at dinner time we pulled out the BBQ and started cooking up hotdogs. A few years later we had grown to anywhere between 20 and 50 people each Wednesday. One night my brother gathered everybody around and started telling a story about a cowboy named Cactus Jack. When I was in college a few years ago (well, more than a few but who’s counting, right?) I had to create a Powerpoint presentation and I chose to make mine about Horse Camp. I came up with the name Cactus Jack’s Hope Ranch because that’s what it’s all about for us. We have never done any real advertising, it’s all been word of mouth. We do have a Facebook page that I created this season that you can find by just searching for Cactus Jack’s Horse Camp. I’ll try to post a link later.

So that’s how the last 51 days have been for me. I still miss my mom, sometimes so much that I can actually feel a hole in my heart where she should be. But most days I “Just Keep Swimming” and breathe in and out until it doesn’t hurt so bad.