Thank you Mom

dianneanded2For making a morning person that often witnesses the warm colors of the sunrise.

For passing on your knowledge of making things by hand and the love that went into it.

For being patient and brutally honest proving everyone is entitled to their opinion and if someone doesn’t like it they don’t have to listen.

For cooking at home and demonstrating there will never be a restaurant that tastes as good as they think does, do something useful with that money.

For being a bargain hunter and taking creativity to the limits selling trash for profit.

For making sure grandma had a little extra for all those years, a reminder the importance of taking care of those that took care of us.

For teaching moral, ethical behavior by living it.

For being excited about things even if you didn’t understand them just to show how much you cared.

For being able to do anything showing that anyone can if they try.

For fighting harder that anyone should have had to just to shove a little more life into the time that was left.

For the love that you shared making living without you even harder when I see the best parts of you in my daughter.

For being a true friend that lives on in the memories I share.



The economy is messing with retirement

I remember my mom telling me the economy was messing up her retirement, she was going to run out of money and she may have to work, but said she didn’t have time to work.

This was before she found out she had terminal cancer. After her favorite line was there is no way they are getting out of paying me Social Security, she paid in too long to let it go to waste. She better make it to 62. unfortunately she was 61 1/2 when she died but as a tribute to my very frugal mom I suggested that my step dad get my moms SS because it was bigger then when he is full retirement age start his and he should get the full amount getting some benefit out of moms. Not sure if that is the way it works but I hope so.

Just thinking of mom today

The floor only needs to be clean enough to walk on

I know I talk about my mom a lot but she is an inspiration to me and I miss her so much.

At the age of 57 my mom found out she had Brain Cancer, a very aggressive type and she would only have 3 years to live. Besides the fact that she said that wasn’t a for sure it was at best a guess on their part and she had no intention of letting them win. She fought each day and tried her best to throw in as much living as she could. She told me that she didn’t do much cleaning house and that the floor only needs to be clean enough to walk on. She also said to live out of the laundry basket; her underwear didn’t care where they were. She said she didn’t have time to iron any more she could do it if she was going to wear something that needed it. She said she was going to clean house like a man. HaHa

She made it 3 and half years after surviving 4 craniotomy’s

Life is too short not to live.

Seconds Please

Personally the thought of getting something for free or next to nothing is exciting. Mom used to call it making money, as opposed to just trading it which is what generally happens. People go to work and trade work performed for a pile of paper or an electronic message sent to a computer that remembers everyone’s messages and allows one to trade little electronic pieces of their message for things like food. There are many who even trade that food for something like karma. In many ways everything is second hand.

Mom was by no definition poor. She lived in a giant house that the family back home said looked like an apartment building, she drove a nice car and was lucky enough to retire when she was 50 and move to the ideal location for her dream home, the Ozarks, halfway between her two daughters one living in Illinois and one in Texas. She loved to share how she accomplished this goal without having any special job or jackpot of funds at any time.

Almost everything mom wore was either homemade or came from a thrift store, except her socks and underwear, for obvious reasons. She never went out to eat unless someone took her saying that she could cook better anyway using vegetables from her own garden. The house was furnished with items she had accumulated throughout her adulthood and put time and love into repairing, recovering, and refinishing. Things found in second hand stores, garage sales or even lying at the curb on trash day not caring, when someone said “that’s gross” she replied that this furniture was real made out of wood not glue and sawdust.

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She pinched pennies, used coupons saved everything she could, and knew the power of compound interest. When she did retire and move to the mountains she had an estate auction to avoid having to drag that mansion of stuff and all that trash that had accumulated for all those years with her. It had somehow become carefully restored antiques worth piles of money, that she made, started as trash that she traded nothing for. Being the foot in the ashtray girl, you know the one that was told to get her fingers out, but stuck her leg up there and put her toes in it because mom never said anything about toes, reminded her that she traded her time for it, she quickly responded that her time had no value to anyone but her so in the same way it was making time.
She was smart and witty, knew what she wanted and how to get it, not counting on anyone to give it to her.

Living without her for almost 6 years now has been one of the hardest phases to deal with, but sharing her stories keeps her alive and reminds us of the power of one person.

What will this story look like 100 years from now? The term for what she did is Freegan. How will it evolve?

36 hours home

Many have asked so here it is.

The trip that had started less than 60 hours earlier ended at 11 pm Monday night.

Dianne was my mom who died of brain cancer just 2 months later. I miss her so much

me and mom. Before I lost 180 pounds yes that is me.

me and mom.
Before I lost 180 pounds yes that is me.

36 hour day of travel

Very early  one October morning a few years ago there was a call from Sandy, the quiet aunt that Dianne had been dragging around since her birth. She was in tears because Dianne was not well. She and Dianne were enjoying a cruise that sailed around Italy for two weeks. Sandy didn’t know what to do and called to see if there was anything that could be done to help. Dianne was refusing to admit she had a problem but was not able to move around on her own and fell down every time she got out of bed. Sandy being the very small woman was having a hard time taking care of her, was exhausted and was not enjoying the cruise at all.

As an employee of American Airlines the ability to get somewhere was a piece of cake and someone needed help. Within 45 minutes the plane was filling with travelers and it was down to the last minute to get on that plane with no time for explanation as to the last minute arrival. New York was the first leg on the never ending day. By 5pm the flight to Milan was boarding and what a break, there was a first class seat available. Nothing makes an 8 hour flight a good thing but a first class seat sure helps. Sunday morning flying into the sunrise was a beautiful view from the plane but quite odd after only having had 5 hours of night. The flight landed in Malpensa which is a short distance from Milan where the train station was and what was thought to be the last leg of the getting there part of this journey. Rumor has it that the best place to get help in a country where a different language is spoken is the currency exchange where they have to know at least enough English to trade money. That very helpful representative explained in detail how to access the bus to get to the Milan train station. With Euro in hand and the bus portion completed the quest for bathroom and hydration was short with a restroom 20 feet away and a vendor right outside out with the old and in with the new. New being the awful hot diet Coke, apparently they always drink sodas at room temperature, at least it was wet.

Waiting in line was quick to purchase a ticket on the high speed train going from Milan to Venice Italy. It being Sunday there was no express and the train stopped at every little village and never picked up that much speed. It could have been so wonderful under different circumstances but the beautiful rolling hills covered with vineyards and the sightseeing trip would have to wait. Early afternoon and finally arriving in Venice the cruise ship was visible from the train station so a walk was the chosen means of transport for the meeting with the ship. Apparently Venice is not a walking town as the route to the ship was not as simple as previously pictured having to zip zag in and out of small walkways and cross the canals wherever a bridge was finally arriving at the ship about 2pm.

After checking in with security and having access to the ship refused the waiting game began to get Dianne and Sandy off the ship and back home. After 2 hours Security escorted them from the ship while a porter brought their luggage and loaded the water taxi.

Finally arriving at the hotel at 11 pm Dianne insisted on a real Italian meal so the Hotel restaurant was the only choice. It was no surprise that the meal was amazing but after a 36 hour day of travel by just about every means available sleep was the goal especially since the flight home was departing at 7am.

Dianne otherwise known as mom told everyone that she encountered that her daughter came all the way to Italy to save her from the cruise ship after suffering a Stroke.