Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekend Musings ~ Be One of Us

It seems I am always writing in my head, but can't seem to get it written on the computer until I have a long weekend. A long weekend meant for relaxing.

This long weekend sneaked up on me. Work has been so incredibly busy for the last month, someone asked me what I was doing for the long weekend and I had no idea what they were talking about. But suddenly I looked forward to a nice, slow, long coffee mornings, weekend.

What a few weeks it has been! I won't bore you with work, no. Instead, I will share how wonderful hubby has been through all this. This week he was the one that brought a smile to my face one morning, after his foray at the bulk store, by putting this little guy in the cupboard.
Koffee Kult
How can you NOT smile with this crazy looking squirrel greeting you? Plus, I got one squirrel point! Whatever that is....I love squirrels, and this crazy one has me smiling before I even make the coffee, which is no small feat.

Hubby also bought ground lamb, and then proceeded to make the absolute best meatballs I have ever had. To top it all off, he made some bread too!! Once upon a time, he was a bread-making machine.
Bread in progress
But it had been a while. So I was oh so pleasantly surprised to come home from a grueling day at work to a house that smelled of yummy meatballs and sauce mixed with that mouth watering fresh bread smell. Heaven.
Yummy homemade bread by hubby
And then, a bizarre interesting thing happened. Shattering, even.

Shattered, yet beautiful.
Our porch table. One day, the glass just shattered.Hubby just walked out there and found it shattered. No big event, just perhaps a gust of wind that moved the umbrella just enough to shatter the old glass.

Of course not in a neat pile like this. Hubby carefully swept it all in this very neat pile, glistening there in the sun. But the shatter was still just as shocking.
Poof, table gone.
So now we have 6 chairs, no table.

Shattered Glass - It sparkles so much in the sun.
But, it is beautiful how it sparkles in the sun. So there it sits waiting to be put in a box for hubby to make some kind of yard sculpture. Ah, being married to an artist. Saves almost anything he thinks he can use for an art piece. This one will be a concrete sculpture of some kind, hopefully soon. Yes, there are many things saved for projects that have yet to come to fruition, wait that have not yet been started. But, his creative juices are flowing and I bet this will become a sparkly concrete sculpture soon.

Anyways, no more koffee on the table out back. Ah the good old days, a place to put your lovely little squirrel koffee.....
Ah the good old day, when we could put our koffee ON a table....
Then there was the mint. This popped up in the middle of the mint.

Its leaves smelled like mint, but we have never seen mint do this. Not sure what it is. Except beautiful. And fragrant. And yummy. This would probably be excellent in some koffee......

So a week of surprises, good and bad. Frustrating and yummy and beautiful.
Could it have been the koffee that set the tone of the days?
I think the koffee is really good, have thoroughly enjoyed it, and enjoyed the wonderful and interesting things that have happened this week.

Yes, it could be the koffee. After a week of it, I said to hubby, I think we became one of the Koffee Kult, and I am one of the squirrels. I am hooked. I may even say it was the koffee squirrel that has made me so busy this week, and this weekend. No easy relaxing mornings or days for me.

Besides getting out nice and early for my training for the sea swim, I have been crazy organizing things, finding homes for things that should have found homes long ago, getting rid of some things. Putting out more artwork, moving furniture around, cleaning.

Found a great deal on this used desk too. I had been searching all week and suddenly on Saturday morning I found this someone was selling online and it was such a good deal I had to act fast. Now hubby can properly have a computer space that is not in the art room, where he is anxiously awaiting a pottery wheel to put in the art room so he can get back to his roots and create some killer ceramics. I told you his creative juices are flowing.

I have been a busy little squirrel. I have become one of them, the koffee kult. And tomorrow is a holiday, where I will hopefully relax. But we do still have the coffee....and I am going to get a workout in at the 'gym'. I can swim a mile now! Could that be the koffee too??? And now I am spelling it KOFFEE! I am one of them....

I look forward to seeing you, Mr. Squirrel, what will you bring us next week???

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Walking on Wednesday ~ Treadmilling It

I had never tried a treadmill before.
Yes that is right, never.
I was always the "nah, I prefer walking outside anyways" type, even though I had never really had access to such things as treadmills.
But, now I DO have access, and I tried it.

Treadmills these days are much more tech savvy than they used to be. And I am not very tech savvy.
So the first day I tried one, I unsuccessfully linked to the workout app recommended. I decided to just start and try again at the end of the workout.

There were workouts to choose from, but being my first day and a bit strapped for time, I just picked a time and speed and went for it.

A bit boring. No. Really boring. Just keep staring at the wall? Look out the window at the parking lot and office Riveting.
I kept going, looking at the screen at some generic path with computer generated people I was passing. I noticed a cord hanging there, after sufficiently bored with the path and computer people. Thinking, 'huh, what's this'  I picked it up and found it was the emergency stop cord. So everything stopped. Immediately. I almost fell forward at the abrupt stop.


7 minutes lost. I had to start over. So I did, and made it through 20 minutes. Even tried increasing the slope, and speed, then decreased. It even nicely made me cool down for 5 minutes. I tried again to sync with the app, no go.

I asked for help and at the same time learned a little more about the options on the machine.
So at least I can link it to the app and it uploads what I did automatically. But. More interesting?
I keep forgetting my headphones, so haven't tried the You Tube option, sadly.

I now limit time on it to a 5 minute warm up, then go on another more grueling machine (like the rowing machine or elliptical trainer or the stairs...the stairs are so hard!), then cool down another 5 minutes on it.

So 10 minutes, in 5 minute intervals. Still BORING, but at least 5 minutes seems to go by a little faster. And truth be told, after the other machines I thought would be a better workout, the treadmill is a welcome site after 15 minutes of rowing, or just 7 minutes on the stairs (that is all I can manage, the stairs are hard....).

My preference is the new 'gym' - the beach - for a 30 minute swim, but lunch hour is only an hour and I need to get back to work looking somewhat presentable so the regular gym it is, with very decent showers and mirrors. And I don't have to drive there, it is right next to where I work.

So, I am a treadmill regular now, during the week. Still boring, and still not hooked up to you tube. I manage to endure it. In short bursts.

The stairs, way way hard. And the rowing, just me and the rower, no option for YouTube distraction. But that, my dear readers, is a whole other story.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Music Monday! Just Dance

A surprise suggestion, this song was.
I asked a friend-who-is-family for some ideas, as I wanted to do a Music Monday this week, but was having trouble picking a song. Just didn't have any that felt right at the time.

So this friend, who by the way is someone we (hubby first actually) 'met' online. Communicated for quite a while before actually meeting in person. But you just know when you click with someone and we are going on over 8 years of friendship, I believe, though it feels like we have known each other forever. She has been a wonderful addition to our extremely small circle of friends. She is 'auntie' to my kids, she is who I vent to almost on a daily basis via messages, she is always willing to listen unconditionally. And that, my dear readers, is hard to find these days. She became family.
So after complaining I was not inspired by any songs, she said she would see what songs came on over dinner with her Mama, and give me some ideas. Her Mama is great, even though I haven't met her yet. I just know she is, from knowing her daughter, and then there are the little tidbits of comments and stories I get from my friend. I can't wait to meet her. Also, they are looking after our dog, and Mama and Lady J now cannot be separated, they are best buds and that means Mama is all right in my book. Our dog was one spoiled thing when we had her, and Mama has spoiled her even more. Which is just right by me.

About an hour later, I get this message:
Well Mom recommends Lady Gaga's Let's Dance.

Well, huh? Lady Gaga?? Mama suggested that?? Okay then, Let's Dance!

I like Lady Gaga, good to walk to and for workouts mostly, but for every day listening she is not on the playlist.
It surprised me Mama wanted this song. I know she is hip, and got a great sense of humor. But I never pegged her as a Lady Gaga fan. Now, I really want to meet her in person and dance in her kitchen with her!

image source Pintrest via this site
I am so lucky to have one-time-strangers make me smile regularly, who suggest great dance songs.
I know we are connected somehow, when Mama says 'Dancing solves everything' and then plans a dance in the living room 'because the lack of dancing is what's wrong with me'.

I will be right over, we all need a good dance in the living room, or kitchen, or wherever. Better even when you can dance with great people.

Save a dance for me, Mama. Maybe the next song can be Poker Face, that is a good one to dance to too!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Weekend Musings ~ Chill Pill or Meltdown? Both.

From The Tattooed Buddha via FB
The weekend started good. Early, on Friday, as it was a public holiday here.
I chilled. I ate, and chilled and ate and chilled.
It was a lovely relaxing day, even if I felt a little guilty for it.
Source - Purple Clover via FB
Then Saturday, yesterday, started out similar. Chill, but I did have to get some groceries, so knew I had to go to town. I struggled a bit with the decision to skip the beach workout, but ultimately the logic of avoiding hoards of campers won. Yes, camping on the beach Easter weekend is a big thing here.
No beach workout.
So just grocery store. Easy-peasey.
I had to get in before lunch, as I knew it would be crowded. So that is what I did.
As usual on an island the store was missing a few things on the list, but I knew I could get at the other store near my house. So after recovering from the morning chaos shopping, aka took Saturday's Chill Pill, I headed out in my old car.

I had just had the a/c fixed in that big boat of a car, paid a heap of good money so we had comfort on our Sunday drive to go to my MIL's to celebrate Easter. So because it was parked behind my new little Jetta, I decided to take it to the store. I drove, patiently waiting for the air to cool.
It never did.
Source - Buzzfeed on Pinterest
This would have been better than how the 'fixed' air conditioning was working!
Something then cracked in me. Something snapped.
I suddenly was SO angry, frustrated, not to mention hot!
So I get to the store, and park this long-ass-car in a spot, plenty of room on either side, in anticipation of difficulties in getting out of the parking spot, as parking spots here are a tad bit tiny for this car.

I had already called hubby to vent about the a/c not working. He calmed me a bit, saying we would have to take it back and have them fix it, no worries. Okay, fine. But they were gonna get an earful from me.

I had 3 things to get at this store. This store had NONE of these 3 things!!
Well, the Cadbury Caramel Eggs that they did have that hubby craved had all leaked in the display box, and were all stuck to the box, nasty! Can't get those. No local honey, all out. No olive spread they have had every other time I have been to this store!

Frustration increased to epic levels at this point.
I try deep breaths, I tried calling hubby again, hoping he could talk me down a bit saying it was okay that I couldn't get his Cadbury Caramel Eggs. But NO! NO CELL SERVICE IN THE STORE!? WTF.
Source - Quoteshumor,com via Pinterest
I was now past the point of no return. I was shaking, fighting back frustrated tears. I HAD to get out of there and get home. I had to bring something chocolate home, so Kit Kats and Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles would be our Easter candy this year. I waited as patiently as I could in line, smiled at the cashier, after all none of this was her fault. I walked as calmly as I could to the car, knowing if I let myself go accidents would happen.

Calmly and slowly I back little by little out of the spot, and BEEP! I jumped, I could barely see that impatient car with the driver giving me dirty looks. Hey, I was going slow for a reason, knowing there could be a car coming, I did nothing fast or abrupt.
Source - via Pinterest
So with every ounce of effort not to lose it, I pulled back in and waited for him to pass, then I ever so slowing back up again, get far enough out and see another more patient car was waiting for me to pull out. I almost cried at this kind gesture. I was at a breaking point.

I drive out of the parking lot at a snails pace.  Tears finally came when I was on the road. Even typing this I am irritated with this display of yesterday. What happened to me? I broke. Over broken a/c and crappy selection at the store?

I could not help myself, so I just let it all out. That Saturday Chill Pill did not work.
Source - via Pinterest
So today, a new day. though I felt irritation at writing this, it has been a day of relaxation, rest, and making sure that chill pill works today. Thankfully, I DID get some chocolate at the store yesterday, and I even made brownies.

Source - via Jokido
I will be okay. I will get through this. The car repair shop may still hear some choice words, but that is for another day. Today, chocolate and a nice easy Easter dinner, we are going out. Hopefully a meltdown like yesterday will not happen again, still not sure what set me off. But there is always chocolate, right?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Friday Find ~ Wishing to Find That Missing Puzzle Piece

Do you ever have days where you feel like you're just one puzzle piece short? Just not quite all there, not quite finished, so close, yet so far? And then you just can't FIND that last piece! We had that day two days ago. And are plagued by it.

We were coming along nicely on the puzzle. The one we started 2 weeks before, with inspiration from my recent trip. We worked together on it, and were having a great time. As we got closer, the more excited we were to be done.

Nearly Done!
photo courtesy of Raige Creations

And when all that was left was the flowers, we noticed that one pesky hole was left in the upper right.
What the heck happened to that last piece? No clue. Did it come missing one? Did one get thrown away with the bag the pieces came in, I really don't think so.

Where is that confounded last piece?!?!
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
We looked under couches, tables, in the laundry basket, pockets of clothes we thought we may have worn and could be in for some reason, under the damn puzzle even. Nothing. 

We are one puzzle piece short. We cannot find that last piece.
Doing another puzzle together is iffy, says hubby. The missing piece is gnawing at him in a bad way. 
Me? It bothers me, but I still appreciate we did the rest. I am just happy we finished the frikkin flowers, because they were the last thing to get done, the hardest part. Hubby was right, why WERE there so many f$#%king flowers?!?!?

But, it is what it is ~ finished-less-one-piece.
I do hope we do another puzzle, that we pick together, with ALL the pieces. Because it really is a great way to spend time together (instead of watching TV!), and I really love all the laughs we had doing this one. Even missing one piece is something we will laugh about, eventually.

After all, it is these little things that make life special. We don't need that piece to enjoy the fact that we got it done (almost) and that missing piece won't change the time we spent doing it.

Remember, it's the little things......

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Weekend Musings ~ Back at the 'Gym' and Puzzles

It was a long work week this week.
After the emotional last few weeks, I had to be knee deep in year end reports.
Ah the financial world. Though there is some satisfaction when the spreadsheets balance, it is often a long road to that point.

Add to that, there has been no exercise for the last 3 WEEKS! Yes, that is correct. 3 friggin weeks.
And it wasn't like I was eating carefully either.
It seems when one goes out the window, the other follows.
My lame and completely wrong justification, "Well I am not working out why not have those fries, and yes I may as well have another cookie while I am at it!"

It was thus proved I have NO willpower. At all. None.
And I was feeling really crappy about it.

The evidence is, I ate 2 boxes of my favorite Girl Scout Cookies in 2 weeks. No willpower. At all. Had them for dinner one night. Feeling like big fat crap. My kryptonite, I don't care if they are called Caramel DeLites or Samoas, I am too weak to stop eating when I reach the recommended serving size. And then, since I am over, well there is no stopping me.

Photo Credit, Author or Copyright Owner:
Girl Scouts, USA

I was in a definite rut. I was out of sorts, off the exercise wagon, jumped off the healthy living ship.

So after 3 weeks, I am feeling like a balloon. Blown up BIG. Sadly not full of air. Full of FOOD now sitting in a few places that I don't want it, and those pants that used to fit me good are now a wee bit tight. I forced myself out the door this morning and hit my favorite 'gym'.

My Favorite Gym
photo courtesy of Raige Creations

I have signed up for a one mile sea swim in June. So this has been my weekend gym. (Until lately, that is.) I mentioned to hubby, more to motivate myself to get out the door really, that I have about 8 weeks until the sea swim. 8 WEEKS!!!!!

So he said, "you are gonna have to swim every day!" I wish. And yes, that is him being supportive. Wonder if I could really work that in to my schedule......

But I am back at swimming anyways. And I have to say, swimming never really feels like a workout to me. Sure, when I stop to turn around and then when I am finished, I am wicked thirsty and I am breathing heavy. But I can still breathe, I can't feel the sweat dripping down my face, and my muscles are not aching and knees are not creaking. I love this workout. I can swim just over a half mile non stop now. Some days I feel like I can go another half, but haven't done it yet. BUT, 8 WEEKS!!! Maybe next weekend will double that and prove I can do this.

And I will try hit the real gym on my lunch this week. Though I am actually dreading the rowing machine. At least it is better than the treadmill. A little. (More on that later if I can bring myself to get on that treadmill again and finish that blog.)

The one thing that has been totally great over the past week -- the puzzle I bought on Monday.
After my trip to Buffalo (BFLO), I vowed to get a puzzle.
Hubby was on board too, we would do it together!
He said, "Get a challenging one!", whatever that means I was not sure.

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To the store I went on my last Monday lunch break. And was mostly disappointed in the selection.
I am not sure what I was looking for. In fact, I didn't even know what would be a challenging puzzle.
I decided it was not the extra large pieces, we can still see, mostly, I figured.
So -- regular size.
And -- no kiddie ones.
But 500 piece, 1000 piece, 1500 piece, 2000 piece?
Well with those choices, I assumed 500 piece was not as challenging as 1000 piece. But over that was darn right intimidating.
So -- 1000 piece.
The imagery was the main disappointment. Animals in the jungle. No. Underwater scene. Nope, I liked it sure but thought it too cliche. Cats. Big Nope for hubby for sure. City scenes. Hmmmm. It was between London and a Paris balcony. I actually cringed at the site of Big Ben, hubby has been relentlessly watching the Brexit fiasco, and I am quite sick of everything UK at the moment.
So -- a quaint Paris Balcony it was.

Brought it home, proudly. "Ready?" I asked with excitement. Nope, not interested, not happening at that time. I opened it Tuesday morning, thinking it would be great to sit with a cup of coffee and give it a go. Hubby was not interested yet. So I found maybe 5 pieces that fit, and was pulling out the edge pieces as I went, as one does at the beginning of a puzzle. Then I had to go to work.

Puzzle Day 1
Progress - mostly done without me.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
When I got home, 'someone' had taken it upon himself to take over the puzzle.
And put ALL the flower pieces he found in a baggie off to the right, out of the way.

I was greeted with "Why did you get such a damn hard puzzle?!?!?"
Mouth open, I said, "You said get a challenging one! And look how far you got!!"
He said, with a hint of whine, "But I didn't finish it." 
Gaping mouth, with heavy disbelief, "WHAT?!"
He said, with disappointment, "I gave myself today to finish it and it is not finished."

Really? Like the adult I am, I said, "That was an unrealistic expectation, honey."
Yeah, I really said that. Then I laughed at the teacher-like quality that had. But really?
What a bunch of old farts we are.
He added, "and YOU are doing all the f$#%king flowers."

We have been thoroughly enjoying it. We sometimes work on it separately, most of the time together. We applaud each other when we find a particularly hard to find piece, we criticize each other's mistakes, we hand each other a piece that will fit in the section the other is working on. I have been questioned on the difficulty of the puzzle several times, and apparently there are far too many friggin flowers in it. But, it has been great. Makes us silly even. Like when we each found a piece that put together a tiny car in the puzzle, and he said the cutest-ever-from-a-grown-man 'Beep Beep'when the pieces clicked together. I laughed so hard, and then we started singing songs we could think of  that had 'beep beep' in it. You would be surprised, there are several!
Best $23 bucks I have spent in, well, ever I think.

Puzzle Day 6
I did the rest of the sky and lower left set of flowers, hubby is beating me his progress on the rest.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
I must say, if one week is any indication, it is exactly the thing that we needed.
You know, sometimes you fall in to a rut. Separately, then together. Weekends had become tense, each of us on edge. The time we had to unwind and enjoy, we were just too stressed and worn out and in a rut and that is hard not to let out in some way or another. So, us being the only ones around, let it out to each other. If this is empty nest-er syndrome, yes, we were there.
But, a puzzle to concentrate on, unwind, share. It seems to have taken that edge right off. We are laughing so much, we are enjoying time together. Funny how that works. Did I mention what a pair of old farts we are now?

Not bad for one week. But. He has said more than once, "Why are there so many f$#%king flowers.", and "I am coming with you to get the next puzzle."
Maybe our anniversary present.
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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Weekend Musings ~ BFLO

What a whirlwind weekend last weekend was.
Full of swirling emotions, travel, old friends, family I hadn't seen since I was a kid!
All culminating in Buffalo, or BFLO in these days of acronyms.

A lovely gift from my cousin, I have been wearing it every day.
I love the little jingle the buffalo's make when I move my arm.

I arrived to town for my brother's memorial service. He had suddenly passed away 2 weeks prior, and it was last weekend when the memorial service was scheduled. I arrived to my cousin's place, I will call her Host Cousin, late in the evening, trying to prepare for the potential turmoil of the weekend. But to my surprise and delight, her place was nothing but a haven of peace and tranquility. I was immediately drawn to her dining room table. A puzzle! 

A puzzle! I was drawn to it and found it strangely calming.
Now, my mother used to do puzzles. Or maybe not 'do' them but, had them out and in progress to mess with in the off chance she got a minute to sit down. I seldom remember them finished. There usually was one going at any given moment somewhere in our full of stuff house. But, I hadn't attempted a puzzle in YEARS. Like, maybe over 15 years....back when it was kiddie puzzles, when the kids were little. And these days, who has the patience to sit still without the TV or phone or computer (without falling asleep soon after sitting down) ?? 
So it was quite out of character for me to be so drawn to it. But, I couldn't help myself.

I sat down, looked at it, chatting with Host Cousin, catching up. Almost without trying, I just looked at a piece, picked it up, and snapped it right in to place. I found a piece that fit, in about 30 seconds! I said to myself, 'huh....that was strangely satisfying. Let's see if I can find another.'

We had a nice evening catching up. My sisters showed up with fish fry, of course, that is what is done in BFLO, it being Lent and all, and my nephew's school has a fish fry every Friday. Well we were brought baked fish, us being 'health conscious' ladies. (I secretly could have gone for some nice deep fried fish and french fries, but okay, I am 'health conscious'. I ate every last bit of potato salad and mac-n-cheese so, got my cheats in anyways.)

By the end of the evening, I had enjoyed a wonderful visit with Sisters and Host Cousin, and was ready for some rest. And I had fit several pieces of the puzzle together and tidied up the edges (found pieces where they didn't belong, yes I just went ahead and took over this puzzle.). I had to chuckle to myself at how much I was enjoying this puzzle thing.

My quarters for the stay were fabulous. What a gorgeous quilt, made by another Wonderful Cousin, from Kimonos and Obi's (the obi is belt portion of the kimono outfit). My Host Cousin lived in Japan for a time, and so wonderfully had this made from very special pieces of some of the kimonos and obi's she had. 
Warm and relaxing quarters with a great history. 
Thankfully there were layers of blankets beneath as well, as BFLO at the end of March was quite chilly. More on that later.

We had decided to host a gathering to celebrate my late brothers life at the funeral home before the short service on Saturday. But the weather emulated the somber feel of the event. Well, actually it was quite typical BFLO weather, so maybe it was just my mood that was somber.

I never remember this view, the one I always saw on the way home, as being somber until that day, and I guess it was just the mood of the day. I was actually trying to get a picture of the plants there, they were lovely I thought, all brown and swaying in the breeze. But when I saw the picture, the electric towers stunned me. 

And then there they were. The GI Bridges. Always a welcome site growing up, that meant I was almost home. They used to be green, forever in my mind green. And now that they are blue. It seemed somehow foreign to me. Modern, surreal, strange.

I had driven over these bridges countless times. It is the only way on or off Grand Island. If we went anywhere, it usually involved going over the bridges. 

But blue was so different. It was then I really did feel like a visitor to my hometown. I only visit. And rarely. I hadn't been there in over 8 years. This added to the surreal feeling of home, but not home. The grey day did not help. 

We had ordered cupcakes for the memorial service, as it happened to be his birthday that day. I lovely coincidence, we thought we should celebrate more than be somber. So we had to get there a bit early to get the little notes I had printed in the containers with the cupcakes. 

I am not sure why we decided to undertake such a big task, right before having to greet people, mostly strangers to us, as we did not really know my brothers friends. There we were, popping the cupcakes, all 88 of them, into little plastic containers and slipping the piece of paper in there, and putting the lid on having to wait for the 'click, it is closed sound', which after 20 or so cupcakes got more and more difficult to do. 

So we were popping cupcakes in containers and running around like crazy, and setting up the room where we had his guitars and photos, and get the music set, a playlist of his favorite bands. I do think it was a great representation of our brother. Here is my first ever video upload to my blog  ~ a quick look at the venue before anyone arrived.

So much set up. Then so many people. 

If no one told you how hard it is to greet strangers and have them tell you how wonderful your brother was and tell little stories to give you a glimpse of the brother you never saw and didn't really know very well, well it is hard. Draining. Why did I not know this and that, about my brother? At one point I found myself huddled in the corner catching up with some old friends and not wanting to jump in the stranger fray. 

We did meet some great people, some great friends of my brothers, even his neighbors came to tell us what a great neighbor he was.  Memories shared, like that time he saved a kitten from a thunder storm. Tenderly picked her up as she was hanging on for dear life to a bush that was almost under water. He loved that mean cat. He was the only one who could pet that darned thing.
The pictures and music were so well received though, and we did love to meet his good friends, band mates, neighbors. A glimpse in to his life, to celebrate all of it. It was all worth it.

The memories we shared were all in celebration of a guy who left this world much too suddenly and much too soon. I do wish he could have seen all the outpouring of love, the family that traveled from far that we hadn't seen in forever, the appreciation everyone showed of knowing him, even if it they didn't know him that well.  As I said, he was a private person, but he just couldn't hide his warmth and good nature. That was repeated over and over. Always had time to chat, and help out if needed, a great band mate, a guy who kept in touch with his old friends - one who was even scheduled to meet up with him just a few days before this memorial.

I could go on. But instead want to share how wonderful it was to see so many people, to have time to catch up with old friends, and cousins who traveled from out of state. We had a nice dinner afterwards and visited, and laughed and loved.

Then back to Host Cousins for a much needed unwinding and decompression. And more puzzle, of course. I was making progress, and still surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I found it so soothing and relaxing. (I was leaving the cat hair for Host Cousin, however. That I just couldn't get me head around.)

I had a good night's sleep, though I ended up sleeping in a tee shirt, sweatshirt, my yoga pants and socks. I didn't even get hot. The weather had definitely taken a turn. When I woke up I realized what happened. SNOW!

Welcome to BFLO!

The drive to the airport was grey and grim, Host Cousin had to scrape the ice off the car.

And the views at the airport not much better.

We had to move to the de-icing section before takeoff.

First pink foamy stuff, then bright green foamy stuff. The question formed in my head - did he miss a spot?? What if he missed a spot??? 
I must admit, I was glad to be leaving. I certainly do not miss the weather in BFLO.
And I sure was glad to see this view, knowing I was almost home.

I vowed I will be keeping in touch better. Well, I will try.
Thinking about losing a brother so suddenly makes you realize just how life goes by so fast, and then can change drastically, in an instant.

I so enjoyed catching up with family and friends. Why do we not make time to do this more regularly? Oh, I also enjoyed the 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies one of my friends gave me (her girls were selling them, bless them!). One box gone in 3 days, I REALLY have to get back to working out......

I will also be getting a puzzle. Hubby actually liked the idea of having a puzzle to work on together. Heck, he even found a place where we can have puzzles made, as the artist and entrepreneur in him peeked out.

So thank you BFLO, for a weekend of love, memories, old friends, family, snow, and puzzles.