Thursday, December 31, 2020

Surviving 2020 The good, the bad, and the funny!

 Well, they say that Hindsight is always 2020 vision. This year started out so promising! A new Year, a new Decade! 20 Years removed from the fear that was “Y2K.” So Full of Hope! But what happened certainly has been unprecedented. None of us could have seen it coming or predicted what took place. But if you are reading this, than like me, you survived the year that was 2020! Each of us has walked through the muck and made it out the other side. The whole Human Race, collective, together and alone. It’s a lot to process. I know. But I’m going to try. To put into words the Good, the Bad, and the Funny of 2020! This is the story of this year, as it happened to us; Buckle your seat belt!


The Bad:

  1. My Husband had a Heart Attack. In February. He was only 53 and a healthy eater. But has a family history of heart disease.
  2. COVID 19. A global Pandemic, like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetime.
  3. Nation wide Shut-down.
  4. I was furloughed from my job.
  5. 3 of my Kids’ jobs shut down.
  6. I had to have oral surgery during all this.
  7. Grocery store shelves were scarily empty, and you couldn’t find toilet paper.
  8. They stopped making Caffeine Free Diet Dr. Pepper due to an aluminum shortage! I mean come on! This is one of life’s necessities!
  9. I received a lot of hate from friends and family for speaking out against an immoral President and speaking up for Black Lives Matter. 2 things that I would deem worthy of speaking out for. I really do try not to post too many political statements, but sometimes I just have to say something! My husband doesn’t like me to, because of course it’s hard to see someone you love be attacked. But A. If Immoral behavior was wrong when Bill Clinton was President, which it was! Than it is wrong when Donald Trump is President, who is even worse! Leaders should be held to a higher standard! And B. Yes, All Lives Matter, but that can’t happen until Black Lives Matter! Love always champions others! Saying Black Lives Matter does not take away from any other life. The strong have to speak up for the hurting. Make America Kind Again!
  10. Our Refrigerator went out, in the middle of the shutdown. Yay!
  11. And the our Oven stopped working.
  12. My Daughter went through a tough break up.
  13. Tiger King! The worse! If 2020 was a T.V. show!
  14. Both my Daughters in Law’s Fathers faced Health Crisis’! Which of course affected them, my sons, and my grandbabies.
  15. Many people I know lost their parents and other family members to the Corona Virus. Having lost both my parents and my In Law’s, I can’t imagine going through that when you couldn’t even be with them as they past, or have a proper funeral. Or gather with your family and loved ones for comfort while mourning your loss.
  16. My Sister in Law lost her only sister on Christmas Eve. My heart breaks for her, as I know what loosing your only sister feels like. There are just things a woman can only talk about with her sister. I miss mine terribly even still.
  17. People I know and love got the virus.
  18. A lot of people lost their businesses and their livelihoods.
  19. My brother’s cancer has come back with a vengeance. And other people I know and care about were diagnosed with cancer this year.
  20. My Daughter was diagnosed with some Health Issues.
  21. My Daughter admitted to us just at the beginning of the shutdown, what we had suspected, that she has been dealing with an eating disorder. So we had to try to get her help remotely.
  22. We couldn’t see our Families.
  23. We couldn’t go anywhere!
  24. Survived the Hottest Summer ever on record in Phoenix!
  25. I have to work, sometimes for 8 hours or more wearing a face mask.
  26. More that 1 member of my family dealing with Anxiety issues during all this.
  27. I had to give up, among other things, my Black Friday Shopping Extravaganza this year. As my husband, due to his heart attack, is high risk. It just isn’t worth it!
  28. No big Family Gatherings. Like making my mom’s Christmas Cookies all together. Or having our annual Family Christmas Party!  
  29. My BookClub couldn’t meet!
  30. No Gatherings. No Christmas or Birthday Parties. No New Years Eve Party! 


You know this has been a tough year, when it can turn an eternal optimist, like me, someone who always sees the glass as half full, who can always find the silver lining, and look on the bright side, to get discouraged. I have said repeatedly this year (to God, and to those closest to me) “I can not handle one more thing to worry about!” I need this to end! Enough is enough! I can’t handle anymore! But it is not in my nature to let evil win. I am determined to have the good out weigh the bad! And I have so much to be Grateful for! We all do. So here is my Silver Lining. The good things I could find in this otherwise horrible year.


The Good:

  1. The timing of my Husbands heart attack. If it had happened just weeks later, none of us would have been able to be with him in the hospital.
  2. My sweet Granddaughter was born! This will forever be the absolute best thing to come out of 2020!! She has brought so much Joy into our lives!
  3. My Daughter in Law, a Nurse, was on Maternity Leave, so she didn’t have to work during the unstable, frightening beginning of the Pandemic.
  4. Both of my girls thankfully still live at home. Had they been out on their own, having to deal with all this alone, it would have been devastating.
  5. Husband now works from home!
  6. I got a new job! Even though my hubby’s heart attack happened on the day I was there filling out my new hire paperwork, which postponed my start date, and it shut down a month later I still had it.
  7. All through the shutdown my other job, a Law Firm (essential) even though we stopped seeing clients in person, allowed me to get out of the house. I need that!
  8. My Daughter got a second part time job, now like her mother, works 2.
  9. We never ran out of Toilet Paper!!
  10. My Daughter started as a Youth Leader at our Church, once they opened back up. And is doing really well.
  11. Daughter met a nice new guy to start dating!
  12. Our oldest son turned 30!! And though we couldn’t celebrate it, how we would have liked to, Friends and Family from all over sent Birthday Cards for a Socially Distanced Party!!
  13. We saved money not using as much gas, not shopping or eating out, Etc.
  14. We found a really good Therapist, Dietician and Group that specializes in eating disorders for my daughter! She is doing really well! We are so grateful and proud of her!
  15. We had the extra money to do all that! Other years, that might not have been possible.
  16. We, our Kids, and Grandkids have all stayed mostly healthy!
  17. I started having regular Zoom meetings with all my Brothers and Sister’s in Law, as well as with our Small Group, to stay connected.
  18. My girls thrived during quarantine! They found very creative and crafty new hobbies! From Knitting, and Crocheting to Painting and Plants. They played games and put together puzzles.
  19. I discovered coloring is very therapeutic. Doing puzzles, for me, not so much! I’ll stick to Reading!
  20. I had lots of extra time to read! I had set a goal to read 27 Books this year, but ended up reading over 35!!
  21. Was able to get caught up on shows we’d been wanting to watch, but never seemed to have the time before. 
  22. Thankfully I don't have school aged children at home that I had to home school! That could have been a disaster! 
  23. Found new local businesses to support in our community.
  24. Met a lot of our neighbors while out for our daily walks, since more people were home.
  25. I was still able to get my hair cut whenever I needed to, as my stylist lives with me!
  26. My Husband got lots of opportunities to lead Worship! Plus we got to watch him live from home! 
  27. We celebrated 33 Years of Marriage this year! 
  28. With more free time and nothing to do, my Hubby's been online shopping! Surprising me with a Kindle for Reading and a new Kate Spade Bag!! #Score 
  29. We voted in a new President!
  30. Dress for Success found new ways to help women in the community!
  31. Churches were forced to look outward rather than inward and find new ways to be!
  32. Teachers, Nurses and other Essential Workers became the Heroes! And it’s about time!!
  33. People put up Christmas Decorations early! And more houses than ever decorated this year! And we all needed it!
  34. My favorite Radio Station started playing nothing but Christmas Music early, and kept it going longer that other years!
  35. 2020 Memes! The whole world found something that united us! Disdain for 2020!
  36. We each got a Pod! The group of people you still saw and got together with. For us it is our kids and grandkids!
  37. Hamilton!!
  38. Jimmy Fallon at Home!
  39. Drew Barrymore’s new Talk Show.
  40. Of all the people in the world, who would have thought it would be Dolly Parton who saves the world?! A children’s book needs to be written about that! At the very beginning of the Pandemic she had the wherewithal to donate a million dollars to COVID research. And they are saying it’s greatly due to that that we have a Vaccine so quickly. Dolly, you forever have our gratitude!
  41. A Vaccine! My Daughter in Law got it the day after Christmas! And my Husband get’s his January 7th. Thank you God!


So, you see, the good outweighs the bad! Even in the most horrible of times! Grace abounds! I don’t know what all you have lived through this year, but I do know that it was hard. You are not alone. 2020 was unlike any other year. But it is ending! Thank Goodness! And we survived! We made it through! And I am Praying 2021 is very much different than 2020. That Blessings Abound! I am Wishing you, and all of us, Health and Happiness! Prosperity and Purpose! Gifts and Goodness! Love and Laughter! Tenderness and Togetherness! And a much Happier New Year! Here's to 2021! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

What To Read While In Quarentine Or Self-Isolating

With the Coronavirus Pandemic, and everyone having to spend more time at home right now, I thought I would Curate a List of Books to Read, no matter your age or what genre you like to read. All Books having to do with Isolation, weather by choice or due to circumstances. Some of these books I'm sure you may have read, or at the very least have heard of. I have read them all, and would not recommend them if I didn't like them. Give them a try & let me know what you think. And add any other suggestions you might have.  

I felt so strongly about this that it is bringing me back to my Blog! I know it's been way too long since I have blogged. But I will leave that for another Blog Post at another time.  So, if you are looking for something to read while feeling isolated, I got you covered! 


 A true story of a man so full of social anxiety that he escapes into the woods to live as a hermit. Living completely alone, he stole books to read for entertainment! I found this so interesting. I listened to this one on Audio. So good.

 Hiding in an attic with her Jewish family & others from the Nazis during World War II, 
this young girls diary is both enlightening & heart wrenching. 
Everyone should read this book in their lifetime.

A brilliant Doctor gets terminal cancer & writes about the ending of his life. 
This book is both eye opening and heart breaking. 
Be prepared, you will cry. 

Historical Fiction:

Set in France in World War II. But different than any other WWII fiction you've read!
You get the perspective of a young blind girl forced out of Paris to stay with her reclusive uncle, 
and a young German boy forced into the Nazi Party.  

A young family move to Alaska in the 70's to self isolate themselves.
Which as it turns out, in this case, isn't the healthiest thing for them. 
The backdrop of Alaska becomes another character of the book itself!

Science Fiction: 

I don't read a lot of Science Fiction, but this one was pretty interesting. What if there are parallel universes happening simultaneously? And what if you could access them? 
Would you explore the roads not taken? And what would you do to get back to the life you built? 

Christian Fiction: 

A young girl riddled with anxiety, won't go outside of the old Museum she & her mom run & live in. 
True confession time; I don't read a lot of Christian Fiction, because it can be cheesy & predictable, but this is neither, and I actually really liked it.

This book will challenge your thoughts on God and why terrible things happen. 
If you've never read it, now might be a good time. 
It's not what your think.


 A little girl abandoned, grows up alone in the marsh land.
Someone is killed and the girl, now a young woman, is arrested & tried for the crime.  
But who did it? This one is also a good listen on Audio. 


For those of you, like me, who love to read or re-read the tried & true Classics, 
this one is for you.
Orphaned & an outcast, will Jane be alone and exiled again? 

 A great story of teens in the 50's and society's expectations of them.
When two of the young men find themselves in a situation 
that requires them to hide out in an abandoned church.


Need a great reminder to be thankful? 
Or how to find things great and small, in the everyday and ordinary to be grateful for? 
This book will stay with you forever & inspire to start your own list of gifts. 

Young Adult: 

From the writer of The Fault In Our Stars. 
This is a story of a girl who wants to escape, and the boy who wants to find her. 
The Book is much better than the Movie!

I love this Book so much! It's about a guy planning on dying and a girl learning to live. 
I love books that make you feel! Whether that is laughing or crying. 
But if you only read books with happy endings, this isn't the book for you. 


 For young boys. 
A story of crime, punishment and redemption. 
A good one to read it as a family.

 Well, as an extrovert, if I had to be left alone, 
what better place than the Plaza Hotel? 
So cute!

 If like me, you have grandbabies that are obsessed with Trains, 
there is no better book than this one! 
The opposite of Isolation, a toy train for the first time ever, finds himself out in the big world, 
and just want's to make his way back home! 

This is an oldie but goodie, if you can find it. 
An actual favorite of mine as a girl! 
What could a girl possibly find to do alone with nothing but a box and her imagination?!  

I believe you should be able to get most of these titles from Amazon, Kindle, or on Audible if you prefer to listen to books on tape. And even though most Independent Bookstores have temporarily closed down, many are doing curb side pick-up. So, Happy Reading. And stay safe. I'm Praying that you and yours remain Happy and Healthy.